Have you ever looked at your phone and compared yourself to someone else? Social media today is very misleading and often presents women with unrealistic standards. Below, I am going to talk about how social media impacts a woman’s body image.
A blog written by Anna Sundquist on the National Eating Disorders Association website states that within 30 minutes of engaging on social media women tend to fixate negatively on their weight and appearance. It is very important to understand what women see on social media is not necessarily true and is often misleading.
Body Image, What is it?
As stated by Medical New Today, body image is how one sees their body, and how they feel about themselves. Women may have concerns about themselves, how they look, the number on the scale, their hair, skin, or the way a certain body part may look.
For many years, people have been learning about the importance of beauty and how it relates to the human body. However, social media often misinforms us and affects how we see ourselves.
How We Perceive Ourselves
With social media being a hot topic, it is very common for women to scroll through the “perfect” photos online that friends and celebrities post and not help but feel negative towards themselves. The National Eating Disorders Association states that it is normal for women to compare themselves to others and that social media makes it a lot easier for women to compare their body image due to what they see. We now not only face people on a day-to-day basis, but we also face how they present themselves online.
Below, Magnolia Creek Treatment Centre for Eating Disorders states how social media is used for influencing women that they need to look and feel a certain way:
- Body Objectification: Many photos on social media have been edited. This often shows how one seeks approval by how many likes or comments one gets.
- Comparison: Social media tends to lead towards comparison. Women often compare themselves to images or highlights that they see to try and find happiness.
Today, social media plays a big role in how young women see themselves. They go online and see these “perfect” photos and this teaches them at a young age to not accept their body, or that flaws are imperfections and need to be changed.
In my opinion, this is setting young adolescents up to think that they need to change the way they look so that society will approve. The influence of social media can also lead to eating disorders as young women often think they need to look a certain way. This results in them not eating properly in hopes that their bodies will look the same as what they see online.
Photoshop and Filters
As stated by INSIDER, people use Photoshop and filters to take away their flaws and create an unrealistic image of themselves. The use of filters creates a fictional fantasy and makes society around them perceive that this is the “best” life. When in reality, this is hurting and teaching women that it is not okay to love the skin that they are in.
I personally believe that social media should have to identify when a photo has been manipulated. If this was made mandatory then I think it would teach women to love their body, and that you don’t have to look a certain way to be accepted by society. People should love you the way you are!
Next time you’re scrolling on social media, remember that things are not always as they seem. The photos you see, and the people you interact with can have a big impact on your body image. If you think that social media has affected your self-perception, you may need to re-evaluate how you are using social media.
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