Social Media the Silent Critic
Social Media and Body Image
People all over the world are obsessed with their physical appearance and have created standards that every member must adhere. Misinformation by the social media has created a negative ideal body notion for women. The biased body image standards affect the social, emotional and physical health of women. The image presented by the social media displaying the idyllic woman is unrealistic and unachievable for many women and affects their social interactions.
Unrealistic and unhealthy standard set by the social media recognize a beautiful woman as thin, tall, blonde hair and with a fair skin. Social media sites are full of images of women who have the ideal physical appearance. Women have internalized that they must meet the unrealistic standards to be attractive. Women also suffer emotionally when they come across edited photos of models displaying the ideal woman body, which they can never achieve (Polivy). Survey by Glamour magazine highlighted that 54% of women were uncomfortable with physical appearance and 64% quoted social media images as the main source of the discomfort (Flam).
Social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have billions of users sharing images and experiences. Women compare their own bodies to edited images of ideal models seen in social media networks and then rank themselves as better or worse. Women who consider themselves really worse suffer depression and experience negative moods (Serdar). A study by the National Eating Disorders Association highlights that 86% of women feel disappointed by their physical appearance after using social media networks. Women lose confidence realizing that they cannot achieve the desired idyllic body images. Insecure women also go to extreme lengths such as diet change and self-starvation, which lead to unhealthy disorders (National Eating Disorders Association).
In conclusion, social media present the ideal and beautiful woman as thin, blonde hair, fair skin and tall. The image presentation is biased and negatively affects women as only a small percentage have such unrealistic qualities. Women must learn to recognize social media bias and accept their body images as beautiful without doing any comparisons.