We live in a world full of constant pressures. Whether that be from work or school, from ourselves or even from things that are meant to make us feel good – like social media. We sometimes don’t realise that the things meant to enrich our lives are harming us.
The deadly cocktail
Social media is one of the best and most useful tool created that changed the way that we are able to communicate with each other. It has allowed us to connect with anyone, anywhere and at anytime. We can have our whole lives on display but this doesn’t come without it’s disadvantages. In particular, editing photos has become more and more of a norm and it becomes harder to distinguish between what is reality and what isn’t. Because of this, there has been a rapid increase in the amount of mental health disorders seen within 18-25 year olds which can be highly linked with unrealistic beauty standards and unobtainable body image. This can be seen throughout the modelling industry where skinny white body types are seen as the norms and are set as the company standard. Particularly when it comes to the modelling industry, it has been deemed as a “toxic” and “controlling” environment that not only creates but encourages the development of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Studies have shown that 31% of women aged 25-45 years old engage in extreme weight loss With at least 40% of women admitting to using pill to speed up the weight loss process and as many as 40% of models have suffered from an eating disorder As modelling has moved over to social media, connections have been found with the amount of time individuals spend on social media and how this effects there mental health. With 75% of 18-24-year-olds using either instagram or Snapchat, there has been more and more evidence connecting the effects social media posts have and the increase in eating disorders within young people.
The impact of social media
Given the increasing prevalence of social media, there has been more pressure put on companies to demolish the unrealistic body types and size “zero” expectations in and outside the modelling world. However, despite this social media still exposes users to hundreds of edited photos of celebrities and influencers as examples of the current beauty standards are in todays society. Studies have shown that females who spend a greater time on social media have poorer Body images and a higher change of developing a mental health disorders such as body dysmorphia or anorexic. As well as this, with the susceptibility of today generation, it is important to monitor the content we are sharing with them and take into account how this can impact there perception on what reality is. With 91% of 15 and 16 year olds actively using social media on a daily basis, it is important to acknowledge how there perceptions may be skewed even more so as they are at the vulnerable age of going through change. For future generations, it is important to check content to ensure that although it is enjoyable, it is providing realistic and achievable goals for the future to ensure that the mental well-being of the consumers and protected
How to develop a healthy relationship with your body
1.Take a break from social media. There is no shame in putting your phone down for a few hours or logging out of the social media, especially if you find yourself feeling worse after. This will help you to detach from the negative imagery and spend time really focusing on yourself and your needs
2.Know when you may need help. Although it can be hard admitting when you may need help. It’s important to realise when you need to take some time away and get some help to create a more positive environment. Whether this be seeking professional help with a councillor or just finding new friends or communities that help boost positive mentalities and normalising that there is no “perfect” or “normal” body type
3.Remove negative imagery or posts from your social media. Unfollowing accounts that make you feel bad and filling your feed with people that promote a positive mental well-being will not only help to boost your own mental health but will also provide a stepping stone into showing what a good mentality should look like