Social Media has taken a big place in our modern society. Most of us interact with them daily and we often share pictures and videos of us, our friends and family and share our opinions about them. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Tiktok and Pinterest are the ones that help us share these. Everyone has shared at least one picture and seen the “likes” and the comments that followed. Usually, positivity comes out of them but sometimes negative one can also appear which can have affected the self-esteem of the author of the post and caused them to have doubts about their body image.
Our Body Image can be defined with four factors:
- Perceptual (how you perceived your body)
- Affective (how you feel about your body)
- Cognitive (how you think about your body)
- Behavioural (how you behave as a result of your body)
These four factors can have an impact physically and mentally on someone and they can play a role in how someone perceived himself/herself in the world. According to multiple pieces of research, social media have a high impact on adolescents and young adults because they try to mimics what they see on social media. Since filters and Photoshop have been invented and integrated into various apps, people alter their images and videos before posting them which can make us think that someone is thin and athletic but when we meet them, they are not what we saw on social media.
Celebrities and Influencers are using social media to promote their lifestyle and their brands which can put strand on people images because they want to look like them physically and they want to adopt their lifestyle. Anybody can post an altered photo or video to make them look like the best version of themselves which can cause envy from anyone who sees it since everybody is looking to be accepted by society’s standards of beauty. With the younger generation trying to ascertain to a certain perfection, this can lead to low self-esteem, depression, eating disorder, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, personality disorder and other physical or mental illness or disorder.
A lot of scientists in the last years have researched the subject and found out that people were influenced by what they saw on social media and they would have developed some of those problems by simply scrolling down their feeds and trying to reproduce what they saw. Social media kind of replaces the same phenomenon that was happening with magazines where people would try to look like the models displayed in them. I think we need to have a real reflection on how social media affects negatively our body images.
Here is a second opinion on the impact of social media on our body image:
But social media can also have a positive impact on body image because people are looking for inspiration to start for example a weight loss journey or start a new job and see how other people did it. I think there is some good in social media because I like following fitness gurus to see what exercise they are doing and how I could incorporate them into my routine. I also like following Influencers who are trying out new restaurants in my city or starting new food trends like avocado toast or celery juice. I think that if we can find a happy medium, social media could have a good effect on our society.
So, are you influenced by social media? Do you look at them to have ideas about your body image? Did you change something about yourself once you saw it on social media?
I am looking forward to reading your comments about the subject,