Body image: Does social media affect the way we perceive it?

Body image: Does social media change the way we perceive it?

Whether we’d wish to admit it or not, social media is shaping our concept of beauty. Social media influence how we glance at ourselves both positively and negatively. Therefore, it’s important that we understand the results so as to limit their impact on our psychological state. We are, for better or worse, constantly consuming images posted online. As a result, social media and body image – the way we perceive our own physical appearance – became inherently linked.

But by scrolling through posts often, especially images that evoke negative feelings or elevate a certain body type, can influence the way you see yourself.

social media

How social media can negatively affect body image

Body image refers to your view of your body’s appearance and the way it compares to societal standards. A negative body’s image can cause unrealistic expectations of how your body should look. This will cause unhealthy behaviours, like eating disorders and in extreme cases, anorexia.

In 2018, A small study found a correlation between time spent on social media, negative body’s image, and disordered eating. This was very true if the participants were scrolling through appearance-related content, just like the account of a model or a fitness professional on Instagram.


Optimistic view: how it can positively affect body image

Social media can positively impact body’s image in a huge variety of ways. For instance, health and wellness, fitness, and plant-based food accounts can all be inspirational role models for users. Through these posts, social media users can maintain a positive and healthy outlook on body’s image.

People tend to mimic what they see or adjust their expectations of themselves supported what others do or how they appear. Therefore, advocates of body positivity and influential figures definitely have a singular ability to create a positive impact on how people view themselves and their bodies, especially when it involves adolescents.


How to prevent a negative body image?

  • Unfollow accounts that present negative body images
  • Keep up with accounts that promote healthy living with factual information
  • Learn the way body-positive influencers treat body’s image
  • Take a break from social media

Key takeaways

One of the key reasons people compare themselves with others on social media is because of how ‘perfect’ others look. However, this is just a show and everyone has their flaws.

Therefore, one of the best ways to approach this problem is by learning more. Social media will only continue to present unexpected mental health challenges, particularly on the way we perceive our own body image. The best way to unwind is by disconnecting yourself from social media.


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