How likes define our body image insecurities

By Joanne Hardy @joanneehardyy

From fat shaming to eating disorders, negative views of body images have grown significantly, creating other negative issues for the day-to-day life of teenagers. 

A year into the pandemic, we are using social media more than ever before. It is now the easiest way of communicating with friends, family and peers and has become a necessity in everyday life. 

Body image is the way we perceive ourselves and others, this has become a huge part of today. Apps such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat have created a global platform allowing people to share all sorts of personal information and content to a large online audience. Although this can be a positive thing, what are the negative impacts from the constant use and pressure of social media?

Upon interviewing three teenagers of different sex and background, I found that social media had a huge effect on their perception of realistic body image. These teenagers were each affected in different ways but agreed that social media has a huge impact on their self-esteem.

“Social media creates an extremely high standard for the regular person to live up to. To some extent, it is almost impossible to get to that standard and you feel bad about yourself when you can’t fit those stereotypes,” Jayden said.

“Influencers, celebrities or Instagram models constantly remind me to think about my body image and whether I fit the needs and wants of others around me.”

Social networking usage has almost doubled in just six years, with more than 3.96 billion people worldwide using social media as of 2021. With more than 50 percent of teenagers aged 13 to 17 using social media on a daily basis, the average teenager spends 9 hours a day online.

Pippa said: “I believe that social media creates an unrealistic expectation of what bodies should look like and how people should be eating.” 

Evelyn said: “Seeing super models like Kendall Jenner or Bella Hadid post pictures of themselves showing off their bodies makes me think negatively about myself wishing I had bodies like them.”

The results from the interview showed that teenagers are constantly overusing social media, which is creating a large impact on the way they perceive themselves and others around them, giving them a negative sense of their own body image. Therefore, demonstrating that social media is creating unrealistic expectations of body types and images.

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