In the world of social media, our lives are constantly in sight. Getting likes under photos, posts or comments in the virtual world can bring a sense of accomplishment and acceptance. What can this do to our mental health and sense of self-worth?
In the world of ubiquitous social media, our lives are in sight. For other generations, the idea of checking in online or sharing where you are or what you are doing may seem strange. However, for young people getting likes under photos, posts or comments in the virtual world can bring a sense of accomplishment and acceptance.
Basically, all of us want to be better, slimmer, smarter, more beautiful, happier. The question is: does it motivate us to work on ourselves or does it distort our personality?
How in the real world can we match the idealised people idealised in editorial programs? What if we are not able to achieve such great happiness and fulfillment that we see every day? Then we feel dissatisfied with ourselves, our well-being is constantly falling, and such long-lasting dissatisfaction can even degenerate into depression.
The influence of the media on body image, life satisfaction, and the appearance of eating disorders in teenage girls is an important and often discussed topic. Everyday hours of exposure to media promoting leaner or thicker or more athletic silhouettes may lead to the appearance of symptoms of eating disorders.
Perfect woman vs Barbie girl
Nowadays, at all costs, women want to be slim, but in "appropriate places". We strive for the dimensions of Barbie, which, without starvation or aesthetic surgery, are not possible to obtain in a natural way. Reaching for the colourful magazines or turning on the TV, we come across a 'Perfect Woman'. She's beautiful. Well-groomed to the extent that every detail of her exterior is perfected - the outfit, makeup, hairstyle. She is a woman of success - she makes a stunning career: she does what she loves, realises herself and develops, and she earns a lot of money. The problem is that she doesn’t exist.
Because all women are only human. We have to understand that we have the right to not know something. We have the right to laze around with a book on the chair or to learn a new language or go diving - even if it is not trendy. It is important that it gives us pleasure. We have the right to cry helplessly when the electricity switches off in the whole apartment.
Although the current phenomenon of "being fit" has helped many people in caring for their bodies, unfortunately, the boundary between a healthy lifestyle and exhaustion or starvation is blurred. Nowadays, we are also dealing with a change in the perception of the ideal of beauty. At present, there has been pressure on a particular type of figure. According to the prevailing fashion: "fit" women should be slim and men should be sculpted. The fact that this trend occurs in parallel with the propagation of "being fit" sometimes ends tragically. Especially, when a man falls into exaggeration among the demands of society.
Self-acceptance vs illness
The problem of eating disorders affects a growing number of people. They are the stigma of the culture of the West, where the cult of a slim figure is ubiquitous. The terrible truth is that the current fashion for thinness is one of the causes of anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders that younger and younger people fall into, arguably due to their exposure to social media. It is not normal for us to be ashamed of our rounded hips or plump arms that Mother Nature gave us. They are, after all, our asset, not a disadvantage.
Little is said about the promotion of obesity in social media. This is a very sensitive topic. However, unhealthy nutrition can lead to obesity, which is associated with diseases and various disorders. It all boils down to the golden mean, which we ourselves should find our own optimal way to health and well-being and self-acceptance.
Sexuality vs sexualisation
Manufacturers very often use erotic associations to increase their media popularity, in most cases, these associations are not related to the characteristics of the products advertised. Often a woman is presented not as a person, but only as a "material reward" for using the service or purchasing a product. The subject of sexualisation can be everyone - both girls and boys, women and men. But girls and young women are the most vulnerable to sexuality. Contemporary surroundings - broadly understood - encourages them not to be "sexy", which they do not fully understand, which is a serious threat to proper mental development as well as responsible sexual development, can also be an introduction to sexual exploitation.
It should not be forgotten that acceptance of the closest and the development of relationships that go beyond the virtual world is crucial. The most important thing is self-acceptance and taking care of your health and internal harmony between the somatic and mental spheres, despite the harmful habits that penetrate the social tissue. It is also worth considering the education - especially in teenagers - in terms of the impact of social media on their lives and that these media do not have to be determinants of the only values, and may lead to low self-esteem and lack of self-acceptance.