How Social Media Negatively Impacts Body Image
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

We Have The Ability To Make Social Media A Body-Positive Place, It's All In The Hashtag

Social media contributes more to our self-perception than we think, which is why we need to make a change.

We Have The Ability To Make Social Media A Body-Positive Place, It's All In The Hashtag

As summer kicks off, we anticipate buying new swimsuits for the season, grabbing a beach towel, and laying out by the pool all day long. To some people, this consists of pure excitement, but for others, summer comes with insecurities. Males and females alike struggle with body image issues, but it occurs more often during the summertime. One source that often contributes to this self-consciousness is social media.

The negative effects women face with body image has grown steadily over the years as social media grows in popularity and usage.

People of all ages now use social media to post, tweet, or communicate with others. Though social media does have some positive aspects, like connecting with friends and sharing photos, there are some negative parts to it as well. All types of social media platforms can be seen as extremely powerful influences, explaining its monumental effect on body image.

As different hashtags, such as #fitspiration and #thinspiration, establish themselves as the norm on social media — this may be on common fitness accounts or posted on the accounts of well-known bodybuilders — they can endanger others and their bodies through the use of diet pills, cleanses, and food restrictions that are ultimately unhealthy. Because the majority of images women see on social media are of thin, toned individuals, their desire for a thin body can oftentimes take priority over the desire for a healthy lifestyle.

This phenomenon must come to an end.

Women who devote more time to social media may be at risk for developing eating disorders, which affects not only their physical health but their mental health as well. Seeing such images causes a downfall for women in all aspects of mental and physical wellbeing, establishing this problem as prominent in society.

Women will continue to body-shame themselves while under the domination of Instagram's hashtags and ideal body Instagram accounts, which is why the hashtags must change from negative to positive.

If our community replaces negative hashtags — #thinspiration and #fitspiration — with #selflove and #bodypositivity, we can redefine what it means to be "beautiful" in today's society. As a result, this improves the negative effects that body-shaming hashtags relay to our culture. By changing the tone and messages depicted through these hashtags, women are given the opportunity to understand that their bodies are unique and individually made, just as they were taught at a young age. The perfect body should not resemble a thin, tight, and tucked figure that women often strive to achieve, but a figure that is individually perfect and unique in its own way.

SEE ALSO: 8 Twenty-Something Gals Share How They Stay Body Positive, 365 Days A Year

Not everyone in today's society obtains or even has a body such as the ones seen on Instagram. In fact, 94% of female actresses in the United States appear much thinner on television than the average American woman, proving the images women see in the media are not even realistically attainable. The media portrays unreachable standards for women through the use of makeup, airbrushing, and editing. By posting #fitspiration and #thinspiration hashtags with photos on Instagram, women get the idea that they are supposed to be thin without any exceptions. However, replacing those hashtags would cause women to learn to embrace their bodies with the knowledge that each individual is different with a different figure, weight, height, and appearance. We must take it upon ourselves to make this change. The mental and physical health risks would lessen, establishing a healthier and more positive society for all.

Take care of your mind and your body. You deserve the love you have been depriving yourself of.

Report this Content

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.


You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.


I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.


I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less

This Is What Type Of Person You Are Based On Your Favorite Cereal

Your cereal preference reveals more than you think.

Photo by Nyana Stoica on Unsplash

Whether you eat cereal for breakfast or a late-night snack, you probably have a favorite. Little did you know that what you prefer says a lot about your personality.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments