The impact of social media on body image

How the media affects people’s view of themselves

Photo Courtesy Of

Photo Courtesy Of

Summaya Osmani, Author

While users of social media have drastically increased over the years, it has led to many self-conflicts for people as they are constantly comparing themselves to others. Although being active on the internet has numerous benefitssome people are not aware of the negative impact it can have on individuals. Various aspects of body image include its effect on mental health, society’s ideal body type, and how one’s body image can be improved in a healthy way. 

Justin Kruger, a blogger for Project Helping, an organization that works hard to improve mental health, describes body image as, “How you view your body, not just in mirrors or in photos, but in your mind. Body image encompasses the thoughts and feelings about one’s body, including how it feels to move in that body, perceptions of body shape, and beliefs about appearance. These thoughts about body shape are often tied to a person’s self-esteem and their ability to practice self-love. He emphasizes the fact that everyone is their own worst critic, as they tend to have the most negative thoughts about themselves. 

 Additionally, social media has been a huge cause of society’s inaccurate concept of an ideal body. Unfortunately, people believe they must look a certain way to be accepted. It is especially challenging for children and teens because many of them are constantly thinking that others are judging their appearance on social media or even at school. However, once one learns to love themselves, they understand that their beauty comes from within.  

Furthermore, social media’s impact on body image can exceedingly worsen one’s mental health. Sophomore Omaira Hashimee, says, “I think social media has negatively influenced the way people think of their bodies. They might see a ‘perfect’ body and pressure themselves into changing how they look in an unhealthy way. It can cause issues like eating disorders, anorexia, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts or actions, etc.” She makes great points about the extremely harmful effects that may be a result of someone attempting to alter their body.  

While people may not realize the long-term effects of fitting in, it can hurt their bodies more than it helps. However, if one wishes to improve their body in a healthy way, it is essential for them to do their research first. This will not only inform them about their body but help them decide what works best for them. An article by NEDA, a company that helps people with eating disorders, says, “The more you practice these new thought patterns, the better you will feel about who you are and the body you naturally have.” A few of these techniques to increase self-confidence include someone taking care of their body, enhancing their relationship with food, meditating, and staying away from the media as much as possible.