Social media platforms are simultaneously the blessing and the curse of this decade: bringing people from all corners of the world together over common aspects, whilst being a factor contributing to issues which young and vulnerable people suffer from today. I want to make this absolutely clear: I am not saying that social media and other forms of media are at entire fault for eating disorders, anxiety disorders, confidence issues etc. Just as a person born into a decade who were the first ones to be exposed to the use of social media websites and apps, I want to state that social media and other forms of media can absolutely be ONE of the triggers for contributing to debilitating disorders and issues regarding self-image, self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem – this can’t continue to happen. Why aren’t more people openly discussing this point of major concern?
Without a doubt ‘we’ (-a large percentage of society) have focused on the wrong doings of publishers and photographers who use photo editing software to falsely interpret both men and woman’s bodies; particularly favouring slim or unhealthily skinny figures with particular prominent features. So if celebrities, other famous figures and a select few magazines are striving for non-edited photographs, why at the same time do we still have magazines with subheadings like these?
Plenty of times as a teenager I simply wanted to catch up on celebrity news; especially looking forward to the fashion sections of magazines and found that one weekly issue would be all about body confidence, depicting images of women with curvy bodies, then the following weeks issue could have article after article of obviously healthy people saying they are unhappy with their bodies. How is a young person, or infact anyone, suppose to determine for themselves what is accepted as healthy and what isn’t? One minute it’s fine to have a healthy balanced diet, to be a UK size 12-14, then suddenly a celebrity shares their diet plan consisting of few calories plus the removal of vital food groups. Its confusing. No wonder why so many of us are obsessed with changing ourselves and not being how we want to be.
A few years ago, publishers allegedly put and end to magazines with headings as such as the ones that I featured above, but that doesn’t stop the contents within having negative effects. It all needs to be evaluated.
I don’t want to being my future child into a world where he or she is torn between conflicting statements, looking at people on social media or in magazines comparing themselves to others in disgust of their own being. I know it will take a long time to overcome something like this as it’s availability is on such a wide scale, nor do I expect people to be all like minded when it comes to evaluating physical appearances. I just wish there will come a day when people pause to think about the messages their photographs or words are putting across before there spread them for anyone to see. What happened to heading towards equality? What happened to ‘love yourself’ and ‘be yourself’?