In this digital age, it is so easy to find oneself immersed in all things social media, as social media has become an important instrument for business, news, connection, and everyday life. From the moment you wake up, you go on your phone and look over all the new notifications, updating feeds, getting snippets of fashion, wellness, and so on. And over the years there have been articles and studies done with the effects of how too much social media can be bad and/or affect our self-perception, which in the case of Instagram is very true.
Instagram had an innocent start of people being able to share photos of their memories, hobbies, and at the moment photo captures. However, over the years that innocence has seemingly been lost with all the curation of the “perfect” photo, the best-looking feed, and the number of followers one has. Along with that comes the push of body image insecurities that most young girls and boys find themselves in by the dozens and dozens of bikini photoshoots and six-pack abs being displayed by popular Instagram users. For clarification it is not those popular Instagram users’ fault for posting their near-perfect bodies, it’s so much that their bodies aren’t a realistic expectation for your average person.
The reality is anyone whose life doesn’t revolve around posting pictures of their bodies, (a fun fact for a majority of us) find themselves comparing their bodies to others on the app mainly because Instagram bodies have become the “ideal” body. The reality of what a normal body is has become blurred by editing apps, lighting, and poses, and where we find ourselves now is emphasizing on bodies that aren’t real. They aren’t real in terms of being in their natural relaxed state and there seems to be this negative connotation that if your body doesn’t look the same as it does in a photo, where you’re posing as opposed to your natural resting state, then your body isn’t valid and is fake because it is not the same. That mindset alone allows for so many intrusive thoughts.
See social media has blurred the reality of what human bodies are and that no two bodies are the same. Everyone carries weight differently, is shaped differently, has lines, bumps, lumps, and marks. However those human decorations do not invalidate or make anyone’s body less than any other. Bloating is normal, hunger cues go off for a reason, and shaming others for either weight loss or weight gain doesn’t help either. As well as doing the exact opposite, it is worth mentioning that it is no one else’s concern for anyone’s weight/health if they are not that person or that person’s doctor. It may seem as though there are too many factors that go into the morphed reality of social media and how it affects our self-perception of ourselves and others, but that’s the reality of today, and once society learns to accept that this isn’t right or healthy only change will be possible.