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Social Media And Its Influence On Body Image University Of Toronto Essay

1673 words - 7 pages

Social Media and Its Influence on Body Image
As the influence from social media and its effect on body image has become more protrusive, it has been very easy and common to confuse body image to self-esteem. Even though there is a similarity, body image is how people think and feel about their own body while self-esteem is how people feel and think about themselves overall in terms of how they look or act around others. The impact on body imaging has been very prominent in the use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. These social media applications have made it easy to deliver means that would allow teenagers to gain approval from their peers on their appearance and compare themselves to other pictures. Not only can they gain approval and compare themselves, they can now alter their bodies and looks so that they are on par with beauty products. Social media has allowed anyone from any age group to be able to enter in their own beauty pageant where they can alter their pictures to remove pimples, become fairer, and thinner. In the new age of the Internet, individuals are now more likely to encounter messages that may have potential influence on body image from social media rather than in traditional media such as television, newspapers, magazines, etc. (Andsager, J. L.2014) Social media has become a toxic mirror that has caused negative effects on women’s body image which has resulted in promoting unhealthy eating habits, enabling depression and self-esteem issues, and the influence to change ones’ identity.
Social Media has caused trends that showcase unrealistic women bodies, which has popularized unhealthy eating habits as a mean to achieve such bodies. A trend that has recently started to take over social media is “bikini bridge.” This is the term for the look which is created when a woman is lied down and her bikini bottoms hang between her hips showing a flat stomach. It has caused concern that teen girls and young women would try to go on an approach of unhealthy disordered eating to achieve such a look that could be flaunted on social media platforms such as Instagram. This shows how there is a cycle in social media, as girls begin disordered eating to achieve bodies that could be displayed, other teen girls or young women see this and feel like its right to use the same means to gain the same body. Pinterest is one of the biggest social media platforms that also contributes to influencing negative body imaging. Its images are used as “thinspiration” by many teen girls and young adult women, although Pinterest does not allow its users to upload pictures that would promote eating disorders, they are usually posted under the label of “fitspiration” (Lewallen& Behm-Morawitz, 2016). “Fitspiration” is inspiration for fitness and a healthy lifestyle but the effect on teenage girls and young women has been discovered to be negative body esteem and causing eating disorder in the long run. Although, “the goal of...

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