Media's Impact On Social Media And Body Image

1709 Words 7 Pages
According to ‘JustSayYes.org’, “teen girls are more afraid of gaining weight than they are of cancer, nuclear war, or losing a parent” (Strickland). The constant desire amongst young women of being thin and losing weight is disturbing and all too common. This craving of thinness stems from a lot of factors, but a largely prominent one especially in our technologically advanced youth is social media. The instant access to other user’s profiles and photos can aid in the development of mental illnesses such as depression, eating disorders, and lowered self-confidence and self-esteem. According to a survey I conducted of 23 young women, aged 18-24, 100% of them agreed that yes, the media does have an effect on a person’s body image. The constant …show more content…
From January of 2013 to June 2016, users of Instagram have increased by 410 million, now reaching nearly 500 million users (“Instagram”). This increased use of social media and photo platforms by young adults and celebrities has aided in the creation of unrealistic body expectations between people of all ages. With platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other photo applications ingraining themselves into our everyday lives, body dysmorphia and other common body image concerns also rise into the norm. These sites and applications, which are commonplace for selfies and other photos posted by users, allow individuals to seek for approval from their followers (Simmons). An increasingly popular account across these applications are called “fitspo” accounts, or “fit inspiration”. These typically are full of pictures of incredibly fit and thin women who post their progress pictures, their healthy lifestyle photos, and act as visual motivation for other people trying to live a healthy life too. However, these accounts can have the opportunity to act as a negative force also. According to my aforementioned survey …show more content…
With the new advancements in technology and science, the ability to find optimal treatments for this disease are increasing. “Adequate nutrition, reducing excessive exercise, and stopping purging behaviors are the foundations of treatment” (NIMH). Different plans of treatment are typically custom-made to each individual but usually are made up of psychotherapy whether it be individual, family, or group, medical care, nutrition counseling, and specific medications. These medications include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Another form of treatment that is popular is joining a study. These clinical trials cover different areas of this disease, such as ‘cognition, genetics, epidemiology, and psychiatry’ (NIHM). A sad realization is that “only 10% of people suffering from an eating disorder will seek professional help” (11 Facts). Having a good support group, whether it be friends, family, other patients, behind them to let them know that they have encouragement, love, and care in their corner during this time in their life. Without the proper support, these individuals have the possibility of spiraling into a deeper hole that can create more problems. In order to beat the disease of obsession over body image in the media, there aren’t as many technical answers. The solutions to this are small, but can make a difference. Cutting off the connection at the source, which is

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