Such spaces on social media have also created a sense of community and support. All this is of benefit for everyone on social media and also for people actively struggling with eating disorders.
There is however a downside to these body positivity profiles too, since there is a great focus solely on physical appearance. In fact, research has found that people following a majority of body positivity profiles tend to objectify themselves and focus specifically on the way they look; not giving much importance to their personality and skills.
Negative Effects of Social Media on Body Image
The use of social media may, on the other hand, bring about body image concerns and negative perceptions about the way one looks. This can lead to eating disorders and/or other mental health issues being triggered or worsen.
Research has found that people tend to compare their appearances negatively with people on social media. This is especially the case with younger people, who are still exploring their sense of self. This phenomenon is affecting both males and females nowadays. It has been found that people who followed a majority of fitness inspirational profiles were less compassionate to themselves when compared to people who followed a majority of inspirational quotes and mantra profiles.
Research has also found that many experience anxiety and lack of confidence towards posting pictures of themselves, even if they are edited. This is lessened as one starts to experience a sense of reassurance from likes and comments. One might become caught up in this spiral of needing such reassurance to lessen the feeling of a low sense of self.
What can you do to take care of your mental health with regards to social media?