Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Body Image in the Age of Social Media

By: Elise Stefankiewicz

Hi and welcome back to another one of my articles, which is basically an inside scoop on my weekly thoughts. I feel like, every week, we just get closer as you read what I am thinking about. This week I want to talk about something that I know will hit home for everyone, which is body image and the false picture our society has painted of it. Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror. We all are very familiar with social media, obviously, because it is what our generation thrives off of. It is a way of expressing yourself and in a way our own personal time capsules but it does have its many downfalls.

When it comes to teens’ mental health and body image, social media has a huge impact. Now more than ever, we are constantly bombarded with images of “perfect people.” We respond to social media because our brains have become wired to do so. Whether it is our friends, celebrities, influencers, or TikTokers, it is inevitable to compare yourself to who is popping up on your Instagram feed or your for you page. This causes many teens including myself to feel inferior compared to those who we choose to follow. We have to realize, however, that FaceTune and other photo editing tools exist. And everyone uses them. We can NOT compare ourselves to touched up photos of our favorite artists. 

However, our generation is breaking down what society has constructed as the beauty standard and the ideal body type. More people are starting to open up about the struggles that they experience when comparing themselves to the standards that have been set by society. Many popular singers, such as Taylor Swift, have made statements about their own struggles. More recently a sixteen year old girl named Sienna Gomez blew up on TikTok, gaining 11 million followers in a very short amount of time. She normalizes what normal bodies look like and is a huge role model for young girls everywhere. 

Body image and struggling with how you view your appearance in the mirror has been a problem surfacing around teen girls and women in general. However, this is a very real topic that everyone struggles with, not just women, but men too. We forget that men have these struggles too because they are expected to be herculean in everything. Their struggles aren't always brought to light. Hopefully, our generation is changing what society has constructed as the ideal body type for both women and men. This will be an amazing change that will help many, no matter their gender. You are more than your appearance and you are more than a number on a scale. Your weight is not your worth. 

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