In this paper, I discuss the negative impact that social media’s promotion of unrealistic body standards has on women and young girls. I give examples through peer-reviewed data on how social media’s idealistic body promotion has a negative effect on young girls and women. These effects include eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. I first explain how body dissatisfaction is an impact of women seeing idealistic bodies on social media, that they cannot relate to. I go into detail as to how this leads to comparing themselves to the bodies they see on their social media feed, and being disappointed that they do not look the same. I then discuss the root of body dissatisfaction, which is low self-esteem. After this, I reveal that eating disorders are another negative impact from viewing idealized bodies on social media. I explain how women see “Fitspo social media pages” and follow the methods they promote in order to achieve a “perfect body”. Many of these methods are unhealthy and restrictive which leads to these women to have an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, spiraling into an eating disorder. I then give my own possible solutions to these issues, which includes having social media enforce better security on age limits required to access these apps so that young girls cannot be exposed to such toxicity at a young age where they are easily influenced. As well as, having more body inclusive influencers on social media to promote body positivity towards young and adult women, and normalizing therapy for women.
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Infurna, Brooke, "Social Media and Body Pressure" (2021). English Department: Research for Change - Wicked Problems in Our World. 80.