Social media has made it easier than ever to compare ourselves to other people. It seems like no matter how much we tell ourselves not to, we still find ourselves thinking about what it would be like to “look like that”.
Scrolling through photos on a regular basis, especially images that trigger negative emotions or glorify a certain body type, can have an impact on how you see yourself.
How social media can negatively affect body image
One of the ways that social media can harm your body image is by exposing you to images of "idealized" body types, which can lead to you comparing yourself to them. A recent study has found an association between the frequency of comparing one’s own physical appearance to that of people they followed on social media and body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness. Another study that surveyed 1,000 men and women found that 87% of women and 65% of men compared their bodies to images they consume on social media and traditional media.
It is important to remember that every body is different. Even if we all ate the same foods and the same amount for an entire year, we STILL wouldn’t look the same. This is because each person’s genetic makeup influences their bone structure, body size, shape, and weight differently. Not to mention we all live different lives and each have different responsibilities.
Know that it’s OK to draw healthy inspiration and motivation from others when it comes to fitness and nutrition goals, but these goals must be healthy and realistic for you as an individual!
Tips for minimizing the negative impacts of body dissatisfaction:
Remember: We are all beautifully unique in our own ways and it’s unfair to compare ourselves to one another. The more you practice these new thought patterns, the better you will feel about who you are and the body you naturally have.