Social Media and Eating Disorders
With the increasing popularity of social media, many have wondered if there is a relationship between social media and eating disorders. Eating disorders and body image issues have consistently been brought up in today’s culture. As the years go by, these issues become more prevalent with teenage girls. Unfortunately, social media allows for a lot of people to talk down on others. This can be done by comments on photos, photoshopping and over-editing photos, and talking bad about others on social media through subtweets. Our culture is currently obsessed with the idea of “perfection.” We have to look perfect, talk perfect, walk perfect, dress perfect, and act perfect. This idea of “perfection” sets a very high standard when in reality, nobody is perfect. Social media allows for us to show every single aspect of our lives, especially through Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Since social media is accessible for everyone, it is very common for people to create a false personality. Many people know what is considered “cool” and can post things that they aren’t really into, so they can look “cool.”
With our generation, eating disorders have become a major issue. Most teenage girls are always worried about their weight and being “skinny.” Many times social media can cause these kind of thoughts for teenage girls because there are constant posts and pictures of girls that are “skinny” and many other girls want to be just like them. This shows the idea of “perfection.” Many girls want to be “perfect” and to them being “perfect” means being skinny. This causes girls who are not necessarily skinny to change their eating habits and diet. Sometimes girls don’t eat and decide to starve themselves, because to them the best way to lose weight is to stop eating altogether. These habits soon become true eating disorders and are very harmful for these girls’ health. Not only are “heavier” girls affected by this, but girls that are already skinny are affected as well. Although these girls are already skinny, they believe that they should be skinnier. This comes from the modeling industry. Many girls believe that Victoria’s Secret models for example are “perfect.” They want to be like these models, they want to look like these models and in this industry some girls that are a size 4 would be considered “plus sized.” In reality, people who are a size 4 are actually skinny. Since these girls want to be “perfect” they try to starve themselves. They believe that if they are not skinny, if they are not perfect, nobody will love them. These girls hold themselves to this unrealistic standard and harm themselves in the process.
The continual rise of this issue boils down to a low self-confidence. The standard of “perfection” needs to be put to bed, and everyone needs to realize that they are beautiful in their own way. Although this is easier said than done, it is very important to embrace yourself. Embrace your body, accept yourself. We need to understand that there is no such thing as perfect. Being skinny doesn’t matter; your health matters. Let you personality shine through, and people will love you. We need to focus on reality, what’s real, who you truly are. Some doctors also suggest to surround yourself with positivity, people who build you up, people who make you feel confident, and to embrace who you are. It is very important to love and accept yourself the way you are. Doctors also suggest deleting social media for a little while. They believe that by deleting social media it will eliminate the idea of “perfection” because the person will not be constantly reminded by scrolling through their feed on social media. A complete cleanse from social media could be all that it takes to get someone to truly love and accept themselves.