Hello! Welcome back to another post. This week’s post is going to be about something that is a major concern in our media today. It’s a lot to discuss so shall we begin?
Unrealistic body image in the media has a huge cause to eating disorders and eating behaviours. We see a lot about body image in the media from books to movies to social media platforms like Instagram. We fall prey to the “perfect” body image we see on our screens and forget that we don’t necessarily have to look like that.
I was reading a journal that looked at some scientific studies linking social media, body image and food choice in healthy young adults. They looked at previous studies and found that social media engagement and specifically exposure to image-related content (Instagram can be a huge example of this!) can negatively impact body image and food choice in young adults. I will paste a link here so you can read the review in more detail. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1747-0080.12581
So who is body image in the media affecting the most? The main victim that falls prey to the media’s portrayal of body image is indeed females. I found another study that tests whether the increase in major depression in adolescent girls is caused by body image and eating disturbances. This was a study that lasted for four years and they found that after puberty major depression in girls was indeed caused by body image and eating disturbances. You can read more by clicking on this link. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0021-843X.109.3.438
There are many other studies like these that investigates body image representation in the media and how it can affect people. TV Shows, films, social media, books all of these things show one type of body image as the “ideal” body type and because of this representation it affects people to believe that they are obligated to look a certain way.
The fact is that every single one of us is not the same shape or size, think about it, how boring would this world be if we all looked the same? But because of the media’s representation of body image it affects mental health and ultimately eating behaviour. It can lead to eating disorders and poor health.
The main group that is largely affected by this is females as there is a lot of body image representation in the media that is targeted towards girls and this causes bad eating habits and affects food choice. That’s not to say that there isn’t a stereotypical body image representation for males too, I’m sure you’ve all heard the cliché “Tall, fair and handsome” that is thrown around a lot in the media. Isn’t that a stereotypical body image representation for males too?
The truth is the media is just a fantasy world that people create. In reality, we are all different in our own unique way and beautiful too. It’s time to put away stereotypical body images in the media and start being more practical about eating a balanced diet to take care of our health instead. Just remember you’re so beautiful the way you are and it’s time to start taking care of your health instead of chasing an unrealistic body image. So try not to skip meals and I’ll see you again next week!