The media puts a large amount of pressure on females to meet a certain social and cultural standard of beauty, which can inevitably lead to poor body image and eating disorders. The more an individual is exposed to this unrealistic standard, the more they find it is reflective of how they should look.
How does the media play a role in anorexia?
A study of the relationship between media and eating disorders among undergraduate college students found that media exposure predicted disordered eating symptomatology, drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction and ineffectiveness in women, and endorsement of personal thinness and dieting in men (19).
To be clear, social media usage is not the cause of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. However, there is no question that there is a link between eating disorders and social media use, particularly in the development and perpetuation of body image issues.
How does the media affect body image in females?
The correlation between media image and body image has been proven; in one study, among European American and African American girls ages 7 – 12, greater overall television exposure predicted both a thinner ideal adult body shape and a higher level of disordered eating one year later.
Does the media affect body image?
For people of all ages, social media can cause individuals to have a negative body image and even eating disorders. According to a study by Florida House Experience Health, 87% of women and 65% of men compare themselves to others on social media.
Rather than increasing eating disorders, the body positivity and range of body shapes and sizes seen on social platforms is helping young people accept their own selves. This may also explain why the decrease is more evident in more deprived areas where the prevalence of obesity is higher.
Social media can negatively affect body image by over-exposing you to “idealized” body types. While posting selfies may help body image, trying to edit out perceived flaws can be harmful. To reduce harm on social media, unfollow accounts, find a healthy community, and take breaks.
However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote negative experiences such as: Inadequacy about your life or appearance.
Studies show that 88% of women compare themselves to images they observe on social media, with over half of them emphasising that the comparison is unfavourable. Studies also show that 65% of men compare themselves to images they observe on social media, with 37% of them indicating that the comparison is unfavourable.
With body dysmorphia, social media can trigger obsessive thoughts about appearance. Their feed may be full of people looking “perfect”, which can be a constant reminder of their perceived flaws. This can lead to compulsive actions to try to remediate the issue.
Adolescents and young adults put too much focus on how they are perceived online. This makes them very conscious about body weight, body shape, calorie intake, and exercise. According to the study, these are the core psychological factors influencing distorted eating behavior.
Social media can then hurt your body image by constantly exposing yourself to the ideal body type, leading to constant comparison of yourself to unrealistic standards. Additionally, photoshop and filters are readily available to users playing into the unrealistic body image.
How does the media affect teenage girls perception of body image?
Studies show that girls who share more photos online and use photoshop to edit their pictures feel worse about their appearance and exhibit greater eating concerns, which can include restricting their intake, removing certain food groups, or overeating to cope with negative body image and low self esteem.
The finding of the study revealed that even 30 minutes on the social media app can “make women fixate negatively on their weight and appearance,” according to The New York Post. Additionally, the participants displayed dissatisfaction about their own bodies after looking at “fitspo” images and idolized celebrities.
Social media use can affect a woman’s self-esteem, according to new research. The findings by the University of South Wales in the UK showed that those who spend more than an hour a day on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are more unhappy with their bodies than others who spent less time on the sites.
How does technology affect body image?
The media, through technological advances, penetrates the minds of younger generations early in their lives, powerfully influencing decreased body satisfaction. Many research studies have discovered a connection between exposure to fashion magazines and a heightened level of eating disorder symptoms in girls .
Positive effects of social media on body image On the positive side, the internet can be a great tool for building self-confidence and self-esteem for people struggling with body image problems – helping them to achieve a more positive, ‘healthy’ view of their appearance.
What is body image influenced by?
One’s body image can be influenced many factors, including one’s parents, peers, culture/media, or one’s past experiences. Understanding the influences these various factors can have on body image can help shed a light on what may be at the root of one’s negative body image and how to improve one’s body image.
Does the media cause eating disorders?
There is no single cause of body dissatisfaction or disordered eating. However, research is increasingly clear that media does indeed contribute and that exposure to and pressure exerted by media increase body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Over 80% of Americans watch television daily.
How can the Internet cause eating disorders?
A meta-analysis  found an association between social-networking-site use and the internalization of a thin ideal, suggesting that constant exposure to unrealistic body ideals may trigger body dissatisfaction and the need to modify eating habits .
Do phones cause eating disorders?
In addition to the detrimental effects of problematic use alone, mobile phones carry significance because they can contribute to the occurrence of social anxiety and eating disorders, as was also found in our study.
Undoubtedly social media can negatively affect a person’s self-perception and mental health. This is caused by comparing ourselves to unrealistic images on social media of what we believe we should look like. This can then lead to dissatisfaction with our appearance and self-perception.
A negative body image increases the risk of engaging in unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, such as dieting or restrictive eating, overexercising and other disordered eating or weight control behaviours. Dieting is a strong risk factor for developing an eating disorder.
How does the media portray female beauty?
Through photo manipulation and forced beauty “ideals,” women have been left with lower self-esteem, unhealthy eating habits, and a false view of body image. Many studies have shared that Western media has caused an increase in the exaggerated importance of physical appearance.
- Depression and Anxiety. Do you spend several hours per day browsing through social media?
- Cyberbullying. Image Credit: HighwayStarz/Depositphotos.
- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
- Unrealistic Expectations.
- Negative Body Image.
- Unhealthy Sleep Patterns.
- General Addiction.