Body Image & Social Media by: By Petya Eckler
'Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford,' said the supermodel herself on Instagram in 2017. So then, why are so many of us chasing the impossible for our looks and our bodies, and feeling miserable when we fail to achieve it? Is it because of traditional media? Social media? Advertising? Our friends or family? Or is it us?
Actually, it’s all of the above.
Research on body image
Research shows that our body image is affected by our age (and in fact changes with age), gender, ethnicity, body size. How much we buy into the idea of the ideal thin body (internalisation) also influences our body image, as well as how much we compare our body to others, how much we see it as an object (objectification), and how much we try to be perfect.
But our family and friends can also greatly affect how we feel about our bodies. If our parents are following every fad diet and are unhappy with themselves, we’ll probably accept that as normal and follow suit. If our friends often fat talk together and disparage each other’s looks, we’ll most likely be doing the same.
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