By HMO STAFF
Qualification : BA PSYCHOLOGY
Friday June 22 2018 11:44 AM Comments 0
In this increasing age of technology, the rampant use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and its accessibility, has affected teenagers in various ways. Hurling hateful comments behind the cloak of anonymity is one of social media’s biggest danger. Besides that, the increasing use of photo applications to edit photos might be one of the reasons that influence the negative perception of bodies. Now, people can edit their pictures in such a way that makes their body look thinner and remove blemishes from their faces. This gives them an illusion of control and also portrays the idea of perfection. They feel validated from the number of likes they get and it’s not surprising that they associate their appearance and how their body looks like to how many people react to their photo. Subsequently, this would cause people to root their self-worth to the number of likes their photo gets.
Social media has also allowed people to hide behind the veil of “wellness” and “clean eating”. Fitspo accounts have become so popular and has influenced many people. However, some accounts use “wellness” and “clean eating” to mask their disordered eating and make it seem that it is completely normal and healthy. These accounts use words that prompt the idea of guilt about weight and body and promote diet culture which sometimes cannot be differentiated from pro-anorexia websites.
What can be done?
Teenagers do understand the harmful nature of social media and also are critical about the messages that media portrays about body image but it doesn’t exclude them from feeling self-conscious and worried about their bodies. What parents can do to alleviate some of the negative energy social media exudes is to remind their children that they are so much more than what they look like. It doesn’t hurt to remind their children that there are more interesting aspects of their children that does not involve their appearance and bodies. The phrase “I love you exactly the way you are” can be potent in the minds of teenagers when messages from media says that the perfect body and appearance will get people to love and adore them.
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