A person undergoes many thoughts about themselves based on society’s so-called ‘standards.’ It is said that men have to be tall and muscular and women have to be beautiful with an amazing body. The standards that society puts on a person causes them to overthink their own body image. On a daily basis, males but mostly females struggle with their personal body image because of influences from one’s family, peers, social media or past experiences making them believe they are not good enough therefore affecting the way they view themselves.
One’s family could be a potential positive or negative influence on one’s body image. Family members are most likely the first people to notice signs of a person putting too much attention on their body appearance such as “criticizing his or her body, continually comparing his or her body with others, and obsessing about losing weight or gaining weight” (Body Image). Family members should be supportive of diet changes and exercise as long as it’s being done for healthy reasons.
Another major factor that influences one’s body image is social media. Through social media, people have an idea of how they believe they should look and unrealistic expectations. This misleading idea causes them to want to change their appearance and most often affects them in a negative way. Social media influencers often only post the highlights of their life and best photos of themselves also with photoshopped pictures causing their viewers to create unrealistic ideals for themselves based on what they see through their social media (Heger). People take the information they see on social media and use it as comparison which affects their own personal body image. Alternatively, they could use social media influencers as role models or motivation to pursue a better understanding of a healthy body image.Through studies it is shown “that after viewing positive content, the women not only felt better about their bodies, but they were also in better moods” showing how social media could also be a positive influence on body image (Heger). Social media should be used as a tool to help improve personal body image not ruin one’s confidence or self esteem.
All the negative factors affecting someone’s body image causes harm to their mental health. Through the ideas of how one should look, people may make drastic changes to achieve a ‘perfect body image’ which can also cause harm to their body. Changes to improve one’s body so they have more confidence is not wrong as long as it is being done in a healthy way and for the correct reasons. At the end of the day, everyone should be satisfied with their body image and do what’s best for their health and not their appearance.
“Body Image: Pre-Teens and Teenagers.” Raising Children Network, 12 June 2019, raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/healthy-lifestyle/body-image/body-image-teens.
Heger, Erin. “Why Social Media Can Make You Feel Bad about Your Body – and 3 Easy Tips to Use Social Media to Boost Self-Esteem.” Insider, Insider, 9 Mar. 2021, https://www.insider.com/how-social-media-affects-body-image.