Whether it is for worse, or better, we do enhance our pictures before uploading it on our socials. As a result, the way we see our bodies and social media has become extremely interlinked.
Social media is changing our perception both positively and negatively, and we must understand the effects of it, to limit their impact on our mental health.
Positive effects of social media on our body image
Yes, social media is also positively affecting our body image. Health, wellness, fitness, plants, and food-based accounts do count as an inspiration for many people. Through all these outlooks, people can maintain a healthy and positive attitude towards their bodies.
A recent organization, named as the Eating Disorder Hope, presented a detailed study about how social media can benefit the way women feel about their bodies.
They said, “the landscape of body positivity on the internet has created a more understanding and INCLUSIVE SPACE for all body types. As a result, “body image advocacy on social media can make a huge impact on individuals actively struggling with eating disorders.” Further, social media can help some users navigate the heavily stigmatized topic of body image with different support groups available across different platforms.”
Negative effects of social media on our body image
Admit it or not, we do edit our pictures with various filters and effects which help us hide our flaws, and make our faces look more beautiful. The same has been done with editing heavy bodies to a slim and beautiful body using various editing effects. This is not correct—shaping or editing into something which you are not, is affecting us in a negative way that makes us feel uncomfortable about our bodies.
The perception of our own body is getting affected. We do come across jealousy from others at certain times, looking at them and then comparing them with ourselves. This then clouds up with judgment, causing you to dive into depression or feeling insecure about yourself.
Project Know is a non-profit organization that helped people to change their attitudes towards their bodies, researched how social media can EXACERBATE EATING DISORDERS, which might cause physiological disorders in humans.
Continuing, an article from the Journal Body Image said that young women often COMPARE THEIR APPEARANCES negatively with other women on Facebook.
The research surveyed 227 female college students and found that “young women who spend more time on Facebook may feel more concerned about their body because they compare their appearance to others (especially to peers).”
This shows that there are psychological consequences for women’s body image as they compare their appearance with other women. This has started to become a serious issue among the millenials, as they spend much more time on social media.
Deanna Puglia, a burgeoning specialist in media and journalism, provided just as much. She stated, “social media is a new avenue for individuals to ENGAGE IN MALADAPTIVE body comparison processes, creating a need for health communication and behavior change interventions that address this issue, especially among vulnerable populations.”
Such research should be heeded as there are many women who have started to feel uncomfortable about their appearance.
How to prevent Body Images Issues.
There have been many measures and treatments for feeling insecure about your own appearance caused by social media. BBC referred to some pretty beneficial advice: “Put down your phone.” BBC also recommended them to change the FOCUS OF THEIR FEEDS and followers.
Instead of following celebrities with heavily edited photos, “finding inspiring landscapes, delicious food, and cute dogs to fill your Instagram feed might just help you remember there’s more to life than what you look like.”
While this isn’t a scientifically proven treatment method, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
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