How Social Media Affects Body Image

In recent years, the advent of social media platforms and the pervasive use of smart devices has dramatically changed how we relate to one another. Many of these changes seem to be for the best, as it is now possible to cheaply and quickly communicate with our friends and family across any distance, enabling everyone to keep in touch in ways that were previously not possible. 

Social media also enables us to connect with individuals many never had the opportunity to get to know in the past. At the same time, there have been serious concerns raised about the effects of heavy social media usage, especially on developing children.



One of the central worries parents have drawn attention to is the way in which social media negatively affects children's body image. This problem impacts both boys and girls, though it is especially acute for young girls. One of the norms that has sprung up in recent years is the regular posting of selfies on social media platforms. It has become increasingly common to take pictures of oneself working out, preparing food, hanging out with friends, or working on assignments for school. 

Taking selfies has become one of the most popular ways for individuals to share their experiences online, and on its own can be perfectly benign. However, with the widespread desire to fit in with their peers, some individuals can feel like an outsider if they do not participate in the practice. Thus, this new norm winds up putting tremendous pressure on young boys and girls to conform and post their own selfies to their profiles, which is where problems begin to arise.

HealthPrep Staff