Anxieties in the media & positive body image


Does social media make us self conscious? Does it create an idea of what is ‘beautiful’?

There are definitely quite a few anxieties in the media going around, such as violence, politics, abuse and even social media causing ‘body shaming’- all of which effects media audiences. One issue that has always stood out to myself is the fact that many advertisements, magazines and social media seem to focus on the idea of a ‘perfect body image’. I feel like this is an anxiety in the media which highly effects media audiences – especially younger women.

Younger women are surrounded by these notions of ‘perfect’ body images everywhere – especially when it comes to social media… using mediums such as Instagram and Facebook. All these photoshopped and edited images popping around, giving people a false representation. People look at these false representations/photographs, and compare themselves to it. This can lead to younger women, in particular, becoming self conscious or even lacking in confidence about our own appearance – a sad truth for many younger women unfortunately. We are lead to focus that only a stereotypical appearance is beautiful, whereas we lack focus in promoting cultural diversity and that we are all striking in our own wonderful ways.

Some good news in social media is that as of late, a few companies and businesses have started to come up with regulations and using un-retouched images in advertisements and social media. Take ‘Girlfriend’ magazine for example, they have positive body image policies, sweet right!?  Social media platforms such as Instagram, have interactive comments and we are both passive users and non passive users. We engage with other people online, and other people’s thoughts and comments can also have a negative effect on body image. As social media users, we shouldn’t believe everything we see or read on the internet, as a large minority of it is fine tuned and re-touched before it is uploaded on social media or used in public advertisements.

Let me know your thoughts about this issue in the comments below!

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