When I first downloaded TikTok I thought it was the new version of "Vine." I loved the app when I first got it in November of 2019. It wasn't super popular yet and people posted just for pure entertainment. Unfortunately, once coronavirus (COVID-19) hit, people had more time on their hands so TikTok started to blow up. The content of the app immediately shifted from having fun to what the "perfect body type is," diet culture, and what is considered "attractive and not attractive."
Every day, my feed is filled with the most classic "what I eat in a day" videos. "What I eat in a day" is a video of what someone is eating every day. A lot of these posts are filled with restrictive eating habits. It is obvious the amount of food shown in an all-day post is unrealistic and restrictive. Another popular post is the two camera video posts. One person is eating on one camera and on the other camera a person is working out or eating food that is "healthier" than what the other person is eating. Once the person is watching the "healthier" person they drop their fork and stop eating.
There are videos of girls sending Snapchats to their guy friends asking how much they weigh. Then they post the screenshots of the weight the guys guess. Cute TikTok dances are now oversexualized and done in bikinis. There are constant workout routines where the number one goal is to lose weight. There are also videos of people who eat a realistic amount of food and they talk about feeling guilty for not being restrictive or fitting the "diet" mold. There are people bragging about only drinking iced coffee and taking pills instead of eating real food.
They make jokes about it and behave as if they deserve a trophy for not eating.
The comments on TikTok are just as bad or even worse than the posts. Girls are comparing their bodies to other girls. Girls are feeling bad about themselves for being overweight, being too thin, for being thick, or for not being thick enough. Girls are comparing their eating habits to their friends eating habits that have different metabolisms than them.
There are posts filling up my feed with men talking about what type of women they view as attractive. Not only are they talking about body types but they are talking about race. They mention "I like this race better because___." People are now not feeling insecure about their bodies but they are feeling bad about being a certain race or coming from a certain culture.
During this period of isolation studies have proven it is a time where mental illnesses thrive, especially eating disorders. This is such a sensitive topic that 30 million Americans suffer from.
Currently, 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being overweight.
This is so damaging, mentally, and physically, to users. Making videos promoting body positivity and non-restrictive eating habits is another way to combat this. Unfollowing accounts that promote diet culture and unhealthy habits, or people who are making you feel uncomfortable with your body or inner self. FOLLOW BODY-POSITIVE ACCOUNTS. This is the only reason I still have TikTok. These queens have saved me. I recommend checking out @mikkazon and @brittanilancaster