The D@ily Byte

A blog on digital culture and new media

Social Media and Body Image: Local blogger tackles the big issues

6 Comments

My friend Georgina and fellow blogger has recently written an article called ‘Facebook: Are you Camera Ready?’ on her blog Body Image Issues. In her article she writes about a study at The Center for Eating Disorders in Maryland, which reveals some startling research and statistics about Facebook’s affect on young people and their perceptions of body image.

I think this is a fantastic article and brings to light some important issues about social media and it’s affects on teen’s self esteem. I am a great advocate for social media and sometimes I think I forget there are negative implications for many users. Young people need to know that they need not judge themselves on what they see online and furthermore they should understand it’s not ok to use social media to judge or bully their peers.

Since the Amanda Todd story was broken to the world ,I have felt this is a particularly important issue that needs to be addressed. It horrifies me that cyber-bulling through social networking sites such as Facebook and trolling on Twitter seem to be so prevalent at the moment. Surely this need to judge others must extend from bully’s own inner feelings of inadequacy and self esteem issues?

Her article below is a must read and is certainly an eye-opener as to some of the negative effects Facebook can have on young impressionable minds.

Facebook: Are you Camera Ready?

New York University student Stella Boonshoft took this photograph of herself in a bikini and posted it on her Tumblr account, The Body Love Blog. She tells her readers “This is my body, deal with it”.
Surely this is the healthy attitude towards body image we should see more teens displaying on social media?

Read more here.

References

‘Facebook: Are you camera ready? [Body Image Issues]

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6 thoughts on “Social Media and Body Image: Local blogger tackles the big issues

  1. If she’s healthy, good. But if she isn’t, no, it’s not okay. Sometimes people need to remember that the issue with weight isn’t always the look, it’s the adverse health outcomes that are more important. There needs to be more emphasis on health in these “Body Love” messages that are circulating. As quick as we are to denounce bullying and peer pressure, we are also quick to lump those who care for our health in the same category as those bullies, when they simply do not understand that “tough love” does not work on already broken self-esteem.

    There will always be two camps to this issue, those who say leave us alone for we are happy with who we are, and those who will judge and criticise, with or without the best of intentions. Strike a balance between the two; be happy that you are yourself, but when someone criticises you, evaluate and judge that criticism, and use it to your advantage, whether it be to better yourself, your life, or the lives of others around you. This doesn’t just apply to the body love issue, by the way. It applies in work, in school, in love, in relationships, in life itself.

  2. This is one of many negative impacts of facebook. Alot of the problem is not facebook, but the people using facebook who are creating online issues such as cyber bullying.

  3. I think health really needs to be the real issue here, as stated by Anon above if she is healthy fantastic. Can I also so say that I admire her self confidence, I only wish to be able to be so bold!

    I heard a radio station discussing this article a few weeks ago and saying is it a problem because it encourages people to be fat and overweight and can lead to unhealthy lifestyles?
    My first thought was how ridiculous that that is the first thing that came to mind for discussion via radio, never have I heard people point out a published image of a super model or celebrity and condemn them for encouraging people to be anorexic or bulimic and promoting unhealthy eating habits or lack there of entirely!

    I was so angry that these people in the media immediately thought ooh fat person posting on the internet they are ok with being fat, well this will encourage others to be obese and unhealthy.
    Yet it’s never mentioned that the millions of underweight women we see in the media encourage potentially even worse habits in impressionable women.

    Her courage to put herself out there so publicly and explicitly is admirable. Health should be the main concern with regards to peoples body image, not there dress size or measurements.

    • Thanks for all the comments guys and I think you have all hit on a really important point…health is of course paramount and is what discussion should be surrounding.

      However when a bully victimises an overweight person online, I hardly think it’s because they have your health interests at heart. I totally agree that being overweight has negative consequences on health and sometimes unhealhy people need a real wakeup call. But i don’t think ridiculing them online is the way to do it.

      I admire the girl in the image above, because she is obviously comfortable in her own skin and mental health is just as important as our physcial health. I also dont think we can make a judgement on how healthy someone is by just looking at their weight. One of the skinniest girls i knew at school ate nothing but lollies, chocolate and junk but you wouldnt know it just looking at her!

      • It is quite easy to make that leap isn’t it. “Oh she is overweight i was bullying her for your own good” in it can just make health problems work.

        We need to work harder to break the cycle, both individually by taking responsibility for our exercise regime and what we put into our bodies, but also by strengthening support at a community level for people who want to lose weight.

        Making people more self confident and healthier is a win for everyone.

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