How Does Social Media Affect Body Image?

How Does Social Media Affect Body Image
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Do you know how does social media affect body image? Some years back, phones were only used as a means of communication; they were too heavy to be carried around anyway. Right now, with the advent of smartphones and the internet, a lot has changed. We now have social media, a group of websites and applications where users can create and share content across to millions of people.

For years, the world has argued both ends of the spectrum. Is the influence of social media positive or negative?

Foreword

Social media has become a huge part of our lives, and as modern citizens who have worked based on digitization, we are almost always on our phones. We have social media profiles to display our skills and brand, which means we can’t avoid these networks.

Spending long hours on it can influence our habits and subtly change the way we live our lives. The people we follow, the accounts we like, the contents we share indirectly affect and change our preferences. That is why there are people who are called influencers. These people have a huge following, and because of this, they can easily impact the crowd into acting a certain way or doing certain things.

While this is not an argument with an objective answer, we must protect our young ones from imminent dangers by providing essays on body image and the media so they can understand how to separate virtual life from reality. There are certain people whose jobs are to create content and influence, other users, by posting snaps and snippets of their lives and style. Provision of these essay examples would help youths understand the differences between real and fake and how unrealistic consumption of these can affect their body image and self-esteem.

What Is Body Image?

These are perceptions or thoughts that an individual has towards the physical outlook or aesthetics of their bodies. It refers to how a person sees themselves and how attractive they feel personally or to other people. These thoughts might range from positive to negative feelings and are a grave societal and personal issue.

When people look in the mirror, their thoughts at that moment are perceived to be their body image. Surprisingly, it is past that. It no longer is restricted to what people see in the mirror; it now encompasses their beliefs, religion, experiences, and other concepts.

How Does Social Media Affect Body Image?

What Is Body Image

These concerns are based on skin, hair texture, height, weight, body shape, face shape, size of a body part, body proportions, and other factors society seems to focus on every day.

Another important thing to note is how these perceptions are fluid and not rigid. One can feel great about their body one second and feel bad about it the next, thanks to the rapidly changing expectations the society and beauty industry demands as the standard of perfection.

Throughout history, people have given importance to physical beauty. Because these standards change every season, it is not always helpful to individuals and how they react to their bodies. Every essay, movie, and documentary depicts a certain body type that is false and deceiving to the public eye. There are four aspects of body perceptions, and they are briefly explained below:

Perceptual

This is the way you see your body. It is your visual representation of every structure, shape, and indentation. It is almost always incorrect because you can never really tell how you look. The mirror is not a perfect portal either.

Affective

This is the way you feel about your body. The emotions that you sense when looking at yourself in the mirror. It may include happiness, disgust, dissatisfaction, pain.

Cognitive

This is the way you think about your body. When asked how you feel about yourself, your cognitive body image is the adjectives you describe yourself with.

Behavioral

This stems from all of the above. The way you see, feel, and think about yourself can lead to behavioral patterns that might be positive or negative depending on the perception you have of yourself.

Negative Impact Of Social Media On Body Image

Social media can cause the development of unrealistic expectations resulting in negative body image and eating disorders, especially amongst youths. The internet is filled with so many people portraying themselves in the best light, so it’s no wonder why everyone looks great.

Celebrities and influencers use various editing software to portray themselves as the ideal body type, and constant consumption of these contents can cause unrealistic images of themselves.

Comparison

This is one huge way by which people get it wrong. Scrolling through content on the internet, one can come across pictures of a celebrity in a swimsuit showing off her perfect body proportions or a male influencer with six-packs and muscles for days. It is not wrong to see images like this, but when comparisons set in, negativity starts to brew.

It is, however, understandable why the comparison is so rampant. Society expects men and women to look a certain way. Failure to meet up to these results in alienation, physical and cyberbullying. This is why so many people have used software like Adobe Photoshop, filters, and other video editing pictures to make themselves look like the subjective idea of perfection.

Positive Impact Of Social Media On Body Image

While the negative pressures of the internet might be glaring, the influence of social media use can also be positive. With many more people becoming aware of the dangers this presents, more channels provide the necessary education for every student and adult.

Students’ body image is most affected because they are young and spend almost all their time surfing the internet. Here is good news…

  • There is now an inclusive space for all body types and more health and fitness accounts that teach people how to keep their bodies healthy without conforming to ideal stereotypes.
  • Find a community where you fit in, a space for people who have the same body types and structures. This would help you feel more confident amongst the crowd, and it would help you better appreciate yourself.
  • Unfollow accounts that make you feel uncomfortable and impose certain standards on you. Pay attention to contents that lift you up and not pull you down.

People should understand that there are no classic body types or ideal standards of beauty. Society perceptions change, and that should tell how fluid and imaginary it is. What remains is how you feel about yourself and the confidence you have in your attractiveness.

Conclusion

The images you see and the contents you consume have lasting effects on your life and habits. That is why weeks after viewing, you still have that one picture of your favorite celebrity stuck in your head. This can alter your perceptions negatively or positively.

Since social media is an unavoidable tool, you should filter what you let into your space. Talk shows should also be organized in every college and university to speak about these influences on self-esteem.

Thank you for reading!

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