BODY IMAGE, THE ILLUSIONIST


This depicts that our body image is only entitled to ourselves.

First and foremost, body image can be depicted as a reflection of what someone thinks and feels when they picture themselves looking into a mirror. This can be with regards to anything about your body from height, weight and origin of skin. I personally believe that once people begin to give comparisons this eventually breeds envy and this ends up having an adverse effect on individuals self - esteem. Especially in the current world we live in whereby one of our currencies is attention because all these data companies are scrambling to get our data in order to sell it to large companies to maximize customer satisfaction. The occurrence of social media has made people so in love with attention that they are willing to live facades even alter how they look to get approval in social media which is just astonishing.


Trading attention for validation


In the era we currently live social media has completely taken over the majority of marketing purposes because it’s cheaper and free to use. Yes, this may be beneficial for the entrepreneurs but is it worth compromising our mental health? A study carried out by UK government during the pandemic stated that over the last year, over 7 out of 10 adults have felt anxious and shameful about their appearance with less than 3 out of 10 people feeling proud about the way they look. Some people told us what does make them feel more positive about their body image was less social media.


Due to socials like Instagram whereby immediately you log in you are bombarded by endless photos of influencers or models who look stunning which tends to make people insecure. This just gives people unnecessary insecurity not knowing that some of those photos have been altered and edited to perfection in photo studios by professionals and yet we compare the two parties. To boot, platforms such as social media are filled with all types of people and some are bots who are just machinery. So whenever we get negative comments on our feeds this may be detrimental to someone's self - image and courage. Social media tends to make us believe that have a certain number of likes means your less worthy than the other but in reality, if those people approach you on the same day you would be overwhelmed so I don’t think we should focus our energy on seeking approval of others. We have gotten to a point in society that when all females take photos they have to make certain poses or make certain gestures to make them look slimmer.


Curate content for contentment


However, some scholars have suggested that we can put some measures in place to combat the negative feelings that are triggered by social media. Director of the counselling center at Maryville University suggested that people should unfollow pages that post unrealistic body expectations. Also, we should unfollow pages that have any intention of shaming others indirectly. Other pages to watch out for are those that pretend to give dietary advice while still encouraging unhealthy behaviours. To counter this we can look for pages that celebrate body positivity so that the tailored algorithm will begin to capture positive body posts which will be adjusted to your feed making you feel a bit better due reduction of negative body image posts.


In addition, follow people who spread positive joy and acceptance so that your content is filled with affirmative information. Frequently, we should try to give ourselves spontaneous breaks of social media in order to make time for ourselves remembering that we only get one chance to live hence we should love ourselves during the time we have. I think that we should all have positive approach to body image, seeing as everyone has different body types it’s important we make everyone feel comfortable in their own body. But it also starts with oneself if you’re not confident with your body or if you tell yourself mean things about your body. Basically, you can’t help others feel comfortable with theirs. I believe that social platforms can be used in different ways depending on the individual preference since you can choose whether you want to search for empowering things or irrelevant content.