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Social media and body image

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  • Social media and body image

    Hello everyone, my name is Cristina and I wanted to talk to you about something that's been bothering me for a while - social media. Don't get me wrong I don't have a lot of things against it, but it frustrates me how easily it impacts on people's perception of their own body. All the pressures of looking in a certain way and all the 'social media privileges' you get once people notice you're pretty. I was wondering if there's anyone here feeling like this as well... or anyone willing to share their story or opinion on this.

  • #2
    Hey there (and welcome to The Mix)

    ​I'm lucky that I don't find that social media use affects my body image. But to be honest, if I was a young teenager on social media now, I think it would definitely affect how I feel about my body and myself as a person.

    ​I don't have many pictures of myself, or many friends on social media for that matter. I mostly use social media to keep in touch with others. Even then, I am truly amazed at how many 'likes' a person can get on a picture of themselves. And if I was a teenager, I would probably feel envious of those people and worse about myself (especially since as a teenager, I got picked on for what I wore and how I was, and I hated my face to the point of I would avoid mirrors). I feel kind of lucky that I didn't have social media as a teenager, even though it was around, because I feel it would've made me feel worse.

    ​Now I feel I now better and don't let things bother me. So many photos are edited, or even posed in a certain way to make the person look a certain way. And how many 'likes' you have don't mean anything when compared to the actual friends and support you have when things get tough.

    ​What are your thoughts, Cristina?

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    • #3
      Hey Cristina,

      Welcome to the boards!

      This is a really interesting topic. I know that many people are facing the pressures of social media and are struggling with body image. I study psychology and we often learn just how influential social media can be to people, particularly adolescents. Especially since photoshop and other editing softwares are used, yet often people aren't aware. It's definitely something that has become an issue more recently, since social media is a fairly new platform which people use all the time.

      Drea

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      • #4
        Hiii guys, i've been struggling with deadlines and I completely forgot i started a new topic here, haha )) i completely agree with you... i feel it reached a point where it is so important to look 'good', and be considered fit and beautiful that many teenagers suffer from low self-esteem, various eating disorders, and all just so they can be 'liked' by some people that they don't even know, by some people that don't mean anything to them. I think it is really sad and there should be more campaigns, academics, schools talking about this.
        '
        I am currently doing a project for uni about this, so i was just curious about your opinions and experiences with it. Drea i bet they teach you some interesting things about this in psychology <3

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        • #5
          They do! Funnily enough we just did an assignment on self-esteem and loads of research shows that teens are the most susceptible to facing lower self-esteem so I completely agree with you! I think there need to be some programmes to help people with and educate them. Communication is key!

          Drea

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          • #6
            In my opinion there's two sides to it-

            First is a basic information gap, for the loooongest time I thought i was fat (i'm female, fyi) and then I learnt suddenly the fatrolls on my belly and portuding stomach were....100% normal for healthy women and can never be erased. Since flat bellies are the media portrayal of women and I don't tend to look at naked women from any other sources I had no clue until I saw a couple tumblr posts on it....needless to say i am a LOT happier with how I look knowing that. That was me comparing myself to what I saw as a healthy body- i tend to eat a lot of food so I was always afraid I was fat as in unhealthy.

            Then on the flip side are those who compare themselves to a socially appealing/"pretty" body and pay a hay of a lot more attention to social media than myself. Personally, I didn't ever pay attention to social media in the first place so it didn't affect me on that level, but I can see why others are driven to eating disorders in the face of the unattainable social media body image the world presents - especially as those who do not struggle with body image look at others with that idealised view of what a body should look like anyway and are more likely to judge others.

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            • #7
              Seeing this thread reminded me of two videos Dove made about 10 years ago, demonstrating the transformation models undergo for commercials. Face and body. Thought I'd drop them in if anyone hasn't seen them, I'd highly recommend watching.
              "You're familiar with the phrase "man's reach exceeds his grasp"? It's a lie: man's grasp exceeds his nerve."

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              • #8
                I never used to think social media affected my body image, most of people's photos are edited and filtered or touched up anyway I think. But it struck me how scared I am to take selfies or have a photo of myself as my avatar on anything. I know it's irrational, I'm hardly beautiful, but I'm not particularly more ugly than your average teen. I just don't get it, but I don't think it's social media's fault. I think social media exposes anxieties as much as it creates them. Feeling very philosophical now 🤔
                SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

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