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Social Media and Body Image

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With reference to some sources, more than 87% of women and 65% of men were negatively influenced by social media. Social media is a platform for people from different walks of life to connect with each other across distances. Some platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have portrayed unrealistic standards in terms of body image. It could be argued that social media has changed the way people look and feel about themselves. Although social media can be a platform to promote healthy body image, it can also result in exacerbating social pressure on body image of an individual. It can reinforce negative body image.

Firstly, social media has portrayed an unrealistic body standard. Exposure to non-realistic body images of celebrities or influencers can stir the emotion of an individual. The media often features celebrities, influencers or even model flawless body images, causing one to question their self worth. Those images are usually digitally edited or photoshopped to make it more appealing and attractive. Many are pressured to have a perfect body standard that is simply unattainable. As such, many manifest in eating disorders due to pressure of ideal body type. Therefore, unrealistic body standards portrayed by social media have caused body image distortions.

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Furthermore, social media revolve around appearance that can lead to body dissatisfaction. Individuals tend to compare their own appearance negatively when they view idealised images posted by their own peer group, influencer and celebrity. One can develop body dissatisfaction after viewing idealised images. They often photoshop their photos to improve their own appearance. Some will even go to the extent of undergoing cosmetic surgery that can result in complications such as scarring or even death. In 2017, as many as 1.8 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed. Despite knowing the consequences of cosmetic surgery, people still undergo such surgery just to have perfect body image that they idealised. It is clear that social media reinforces negative body image.

Lastly, social networking can cause an individual to set a high expectation on themselves. The media encompasses a set thought of what is attractive and what is not attractive. Social media has influenced every individual on how they perceived themselves. Research shows that over 90% of people, especially women are unhappy with their bodies. Women usually idealise a body that is slim while the men body ideal is muscular. In order to reach the goals of having a perfect body, some would opt for slimming pills. This will increase the risk of developing body health issues. Hence, individuals tend to set high yet unrealistic expectations to fit in with society.

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Social Media and Body Image. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from
“Social Media and Body Image.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
Social Media and Body Image. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 31 Jan. 2023].
Social Media and Body Image [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2023 Jan 31]. Available from:
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