Nowadays people think of their “life meaning” as how they use their image; specifically their body image. People are highly dependent on how they look and treat people in accordance to how their appearance. Most people no matter the age face problems regarding their size and weight. Nobody should compare themselves or anyone else to others as everyone is different. Body image should not affect how others are treated nor should it affect their future.
More often than one might want to believe, especially in today’s society, people are discriminated against and shamed from parts of society just because of how they look. This affects people of all ages. Many children, teens, and adults get rejected from friendships or are avoided therefore bullied, solely because of appearance (Gagnon). Surprisingly, this is even present in the primary years of one’s life as many children between ages six to twelve are victims of social isolation (Gagnon). Even more shocking is that “[Eighty-one percent] of [ten]-year-old girls are afraid of being fat” (Riehle). They are just children and one, should not feel subject to that type of idea, and two, these children’s bodies are not done developing. This idea is just crazy. Likewise, the rate of “Among school-age children, the frequency of weight bullying has increased by [forty-one percent] since 1961” (Gagnon). What is this world coming too? People, especially children, should not have to be tormented nor should the thought arise for them to question their looks. Even the websites and sources people use to try and get help to this epidemic is giving off false advertisement; “One study that analyzed [fifty] “fitspiration” websites found parallel messages to pro-anorexia (pro-ana) websites, both of which contain hazardous messages that support eating disorders” (Cole). Sadly around one of four women have an eating disorder of some kind . To put this in perspective with a standpoint that is specific to both sexes one in three people battling an eating disorder is male. This is absolutely absurd how social issues, related to body image can cause -and have the ability to cause- disruptions among people and eating disorders.
What is the biggest, global trend that can harm societies? Social media causes or aids into the global epidemic on issues surrounding body image and appearance. The media has a massive impact on people who may be suffering from some of those issues in the paragraph above. A recent study survey revealed that eighty-eight percent of students, that answered, reported feeling bad about the way they looked because of something a “friend” said to them (Riehle). Who would have thought that the friends one grows close to can have a detrimental impact on one’s life. People are let down all of the time by people they once thought only wanted the best for them. Everything and anything has the ability to influence anyone. Modeling industries are a large cause for female body disorders as they wish to be like the girls they see on the television; “[sixty percent] of girls admit to comparing their bodies to fashion models” (Riehle). When people try to reach this idealistic and almost unattainable body image, health concerns arise. Comparing one’s body to what they see in the edited photos is really dangerous. Cindy Cole wrote a list of dangerous trends that continuously circulate social media: ‘thigh gap”,’ ‘bikini bridge”,’ and ‘ribcage bragging.’ Ribcage bragging is the most dangerous. It is extremely unhealthy if one can see the details of their ribcage on the surface of the skin. This means that their skin is excessively thin and their organs are not protected and has potential to rupture super easily. Another negative impact of social media is that “many individuals have come to associate their self-worth with the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ they might receive on posted images” (Cole). Media portrayals of overweight people are exceedingly rare and are almost always negative. This is true with people of almost any body shape and type such as catwalk models and movie stars all look pretty much the same from the neck down (Gavin). Even children as young as three are now picking up on how thin well known beloved Disney characters. How media portrays people and how exclusive it is to certain body types is not okay.