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Does Social Media Affect Your Body Image?

What messages have you received from social media about how your body should look?

body image on social media essay

By Callie Holtermann

What do the posts in your social media feeds tell you about how your body should look? How do they affect the way you feel about your body?

In general, how does what you see on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube or other social media sites affect your body image, which is defined as “a combination of the thoughts and feelings that you have about your body”?

In “ What Is ‘Bigorexia’? ” Alex Hawgood writes that some teenage boys feel pressure to build muscle because of what they see on social media:

Like many high school athletes, Bobby , 16, a junior from Long Island, has spent years whipping his body into shape through protein diets and workouts. Between rounds of Fortnite and homework, Bobby goes online to study bodybuilders like Greg Doucette , a 46-year-old fitness personality who has more than 1.3 million YouTube subscribers. Bobby also hits his local gym as frequently as six days a week. “Those guys made me realize I wanted to get bodies like them and post stuff like them,” said Bobby, who has fluffy curls of dark hair and the compact frame of a gymnast. (The New York Times is not publishing the surnames of minors or the names of their parents in this article to protect their privacy.) He makes sure to hit the fridge, too, grazing on protein-packed Kodiak Cakes and muscle-mass-building Oreo shakes. He consumes so much protein that classmates sometimes gawk at him for eating upward of eight chicken-and-rice meals at school. But Bobby isn’t getting buff so he can stand out during varsity tryouts. His goal is to compete in a different arena: TikTok. Bobby now posts his own workout TikToks. Shot on his iPhone 11, usually at the gym or in his family’s living room, the videos are devoted to topics like how to get a “gorilla chest,” “Popeye forearms” or “Lil Uzi’s abs.”

The article continues:

For many boys and young men, muscle worship has become practically a digital rite of passage in today’s beefcake-saturated culture. Examples are everywhere — the hypermasculine video games they play, the mesomorphic superheroes in the movies they watch. The top grossing films of last year were ruled by C.G.I.-enhanced masculine clichés: Spider-Man, Shang Chi, Venom and the entire Marvel universe. Many doctors and researchers say that the relentless online adulation of muscular male bodies can have a toxic effect on the self-esteem of young men, with the never-ending scroll of six packs and boy-band faces making them feel inadequate and anxious. And while there has been increased public awareness about how social media can be harmful to teenagers — spurred in part by the leak of internal research from Facebook showing that the company hid the negative effects of Instagram — much of that focus has been on girls. Recent reports, however, have found that those same online pressures can also cause teenage boys to feel bad about their bodies.

Students, read or listen to the entire article , then tell us:

How does social media affect the way you feel about your body? Has it ever made you feel bad about the way you look? Has it ever made you feel good?

Did you relate to any of the teenagers quoted in this article? If so, which ones, and why?

What messages have you received about how your body should look from social media and what you should do to make it look that way? Pick one of these messages and evaluate it: Is it good advice for teenagers? Would you share it with one of your friends?

Do you feel that men are encouraged or discouraged in sharing struggles or insecurities related to their bodies? Why do you think that is?

“The line between getting fit and fanatical is not always clear,” Mr. Hawgood writes. Do you agree? Do you think teenagers can learn useful lessons about fitness online without becoming obsessive or unhealthy? How?

Have you ever encountered body-positive content on social media? How has it made you feel? Do you think posts of this kind are useful? Why or why not?

Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column . Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Callie Holtermann joined The Learning Network as a senior news assistant in 2020. More about Callie Holtermann


The Effects of Social Media Use on Teens' Body Image

Can the negative impact of social media use on body image in youth be reversed.

Posted December 31, 2023 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader

  • Social media and body image concerns are prevalent among youth.
  • Social media may impact body image and mental health via unfavourable social comparisons.
  • Reducing social media use can improve body image in youth.

Social media has become the primary form of interaction amongst Gen Z “tech-savvy” adolescents and young adults. You know, the ones we go to when we can’t figure out how to reset our password. It’s such an ingrained part of their youth and modern-day culture, that a life without social media or a smartphone is unfathomable. Given that social media is still a relatively new form of communication, combined with its now omnipresent use, there is widespread concern about its effects on mental health in youth. Adolescence and young adulthood are stages of life known to have rapid social, emotional, and physical changes. This makes the teen years and transition to early adulthood a particularly vulnerable period for developing mental health issues.

The most obvious benefit of social media is that it allows youth, no matter where they are situated, to instantly connect, to engage with their peers through messaging, and to share pictures and videos. While this connectedness to the world around them can be positive, it comes with a cost, at least for some youth. Common features such as the number of friends or followers, or the number of likes of pictures or posts are often viewed as a reflection of one’s popularity. The social comparisons that impressionable young teens make can influence how they feel about themselves and their bodies.

We have long known that exposure to unrealistic beauty standards that are portrayed in popular culture can have a negative effect on body image . However, in the modern digital era, youth are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of images a day. Photos and posts on social media are chosen to present and maintain a carefully constructed image of one’s best self. They are frequently enhanced by photo and body-editing program “filters,” making appearance comparisons unattainable and dangerous. These online portrayals of overly positive and oftentimes false “realities“ can leave youth feeling dissatisfied with their appearance, and that their lives don’t measure up. This virtual popularity contest can also lead to a strong pressure to post and “keep up” or risk being perceived as unpopular or leading less interesting lives, resulting in even greater dissatisfaction. The unending search for the perfect picture inevitably takes valuable time away from activities that could actually make youth feel better about themselves.

What’s known about social media’s influence on body image?

Many studies have shown a rising trend for greater body and weight dissatisfaction amongst youth who are heavy or frequent users of social media. However, these studies are largely correlational rather than causal in nature. Simply put, those studies did not determine if high exposure to social media created poorer body image amongst its users, or whether those suffering from body image concerns spent more time on social media. This lack of clarity led my students and me to embark on a study to better understand the causal effects of social media on body image and mental health.

We recruited a group of Canadian youth aged 17-24 years who were using social media for more than two hours per day and also experiencing higher levels of emotional distress. We tracked their social media use for one week by having participants send daily screenshots of their usage. These youth spent approximately two and a half hours per day on social media. During this same period, we also assessed their body image and other mental health measures. Participants were then assigned to two groups. The intervention group reduced their daily social media use to one hour per day. The control group continued to have unrestricted use of social media. After the three-week intervention period ended, those who reduced daily social media use reported significantly greater improvements in appearance esteem and weight esteem compared to those who had not reduced their social media use.

What does this mean going forward?

In a society where demands for child and youth mental health services are increasing and waitlists for care are long, we urgently need to identify simple but effective strategies that parents and youth can do to feel better. The good news is that the results of this study suggest that reducing social media use to more moderate levels—about one hour per day—is a good place to start.

Replacing social media use with more mental health-promoting activities such as physical activity, time in nature, pursuing hobbies, and spending quality time with friends and family can yield even greater psychological benefits.

Stay tuned for future posts as my laboratory and others continue to explore the relationship between various forms of digital media use, mental health, and social and cognitive development among our most precious resources: our children and youth.

Thai, H., Davis, C. G., Mahboob, W., Perry, S., Adams, A., & Goldfield, G. S. (In Press). Reducing social media use improves appearance and weight esteem in youth with emotional distress. Psychology of Popular Media , online February, 2023 https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fppm0000460


Gary Goldfield, PhD., C. Psych., is a Senior Scientist with the Healthy Active Living & Obesity (HALO) Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada.

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Essays About Body Image: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

Essays about body image tackle delicate subjects like insecurities and mental illnesses; to effectively discuss it with tact, see our top essay examples.

The term “body image” refers to how you see and feel about your appearance. Although many support body positivity today and push for body acceptance, studies still show that 86% of women suffer from negative body image and want to lose weight . The inability to accept oneself results in low self-esteem, stress, and depression. Picking body image as your essay topic lets you join the discussion regarding this always-timely issue. Consider the examples listed below as inspiration for your essay:

1. Long Essay on Body Image by Prasanna

2. gender and body image essay by anonymous on ivypanda.com, 3. the negative body image presented by the media by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 4. social media and body image by anonymous on edubirdie.com, 5. negative body images essay by writer valeria, 1. aspects of body image, 2. body image: the good and the bad, 3. factors affecting teenager body image, 4. beauty pageants: pros and cons, 5. body image and mental health, 6. victoria’s secret models and body image, 7. men’s body image, 8. what is body shaming, 9. knowing what’s real: curating my body image, 10. my journey to self-love.

“People have forgotten the concept of inner beauty. A person should always think of themselves to be perfect in front of the mirror.”

Prasanna explains what body image means, including its consequences in the form of disorders. She delves into how a person’s perception of their physical appearance affects their lives and how it’s now a big problem in today’s society. The author believes cultivating a supportive environment dramatically improves one’s body image. In the end, she reminds the readers how God made everyone unique in their own right and to start having a positive attitude towards their bodies.

You might also be interested in these articles and essays about appearance .

“Online blogs, television, and films all provide examples of perfect female and male bodies. When real people compare themselves to these ideals, they experience dissatisfaction with their body that results in body image issues.”

The essay scrutinizes ideals that trigger someone’s body issues, often leading to physical and mental problems. For example, today’s ideal female body is fit, with low body fat and a slim waist. Meanwhile, men should be muscular with sharp facial features. Because these are the only acceptable “right” bodies, many go through unhealthy diets, take dubious pills, and engage in strenuous exercises. The writer supports the body positivity movement that demands diversity from mass media.

See how to write an essay about diversity if you want to write about it instead.

“The media also provide unrealistic body image that no human can meet without causing harm to themselves.”

Harmful diets, dangerous treatments, expensive surgeries – people do these and many more to achieve and maintain the perfect body presented in mass media. This “false advertising” even results in eating disorders and food-related diseases. The essay adds research findings and relevant cases to support the author’s distaste for mass media’s impact on individuals’ perceptions of themselves.

“… social networking can cause an individual to set a high expectation on themselves. The media encompasses a set thought of what is attractive and what is not attractive.”

While social media is a great platform to promote healthy living, the author brings up how it also presents unrealistic body standards. Although most are thanks to digital editing, photos depicting perfect body images of celebrities, models, and influencers on social media still affect individuals’ concept of how they should look. By constantly seeing these “perfect” photos online, people turn to doctoring their pictures and deluding themselves into thinking they look like something they aren’t. Sometimes, people even go under the knife to replicate their altered photos.

“Seeing overly skinny models in the media does not enhance women’s self-esteem, self-worth or self-image.”

In this essay, Valeria shares her review of the book Understanding Negative Body Image by Barbara Moe which focuses on the culture’s obsession with weight, shape, and body image. The writer includes her favorite part of the book, where flat chests are fashionable in Ms. America. She compares it to today, where bigger breasts and thinner bodies are preferred. Valeria believes the media needs to show more diverse and realistic body shapes to reduce negative body image.

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10 Helpful Writing Prompts On Essays About Body Image

Are the samples above effective in giving you inspiration for your essay? If you’re still thinking of what to write about, you can use the following prompts:

Identify and explain the four main aspects of body image: perceptual, affective, cognitive, and behavioral. Provide examples to make it easier for the readers to understand how they differ and contribute to a person’s overall body image. Add surveys or research findings to support your statements and increase your essay’s credibility.

You don’t create your body image with your eyes alone. Your feelings and thoughts about your body are also part of the equation. These are all the results of your experiences, whether they are positive or negative. For this prompt, share any encounters that affected how you look at your body. 

Youngsters in their puberty are the most affected by today’s body image pressures. First, discuss factors that significantly impact how teenagers value themselves. Then, share steps to help young people overcome these issues. You can also write down the causes and warning signs of a negative body image.

Essays About Body Image

Write your opinion about the “beauty” standards in beauty pageants and whether you favor them or not. Talk about its benefits and drawbacks to children, adult participants, and anyone who consumes such media. To demonstrate the severity of these standards, present cases where a contestant’s appearance or body became the matter in question.

The pressures of attaining a perfect body take their toll on an individual’s quality of life. These taxing pressures, such as eating disorders, anxiety, and mood swings, spill over the person’s relations and even hinder everyday living. Therefore, incorporate the importance of maintaining a positive body image to achieve healthy psychological and physical well-being.

Victoria’s Secret, a brand known for its skinny models, hired its first-ever plus-size model in 2019 . Find out why the brand made this significant change and how its customers received it. Include your opinion about the brand’s decision. Add if you believe the company did what it did to start a more diverse line of clothing or because it succumbed to people’s demand of wanting to see more realistic bodies in media.

Although most body image essays are about women, men also cope with self-acceptance. Discuss common problems men have to deal with daily regarding their appearance. Integrate how men are described in books and movies and probe how these visuals can affect a man’s ego. To make your essay more compelling, you can also delve into why there are more rigid rules on beauty standards imposed on women versus men.

Explore what encompasses body shaming and add why people do it. Relay to your readers how it affects people with a history of depression, low self-esteem, trauma, and other mental illnesses. Through this prompt, your essay will help raise awareness against body shaming. You might also be interested in these articles about eating disorders .

One excellent way to improve body image is to tailor what you see, especially on social media. Then, remind yourself that these photos are altered and unnatural. For this essay, list steps that can help protect one’s self-image away from the fake “perfect” bodies flooding mass media. For example, add joining groups highlighting edits in photoshop pictures, etc.

Everyone has something they want to change regarding their appearance. Through this essay, share what you did to overcome the struggles of accepting yourself as you are. You can also recommend books that helped change your perspective.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips !

If you still need help, our guide to grammar and punctuation explains more.

body image on social media essay

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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Social Media Effects on Adolescents’ Body Image Essay

Adolescents are heavy users of social networking sites. Studies indicate that exposure to media ads influences teenagers’ body satisfaction and dietary habits. The purpose of the proposed research is to investigate the effect of social media on the body image of adolescents. This paper describes the methods and procedures that will be used in sample selection, data collection, and assessment of the study’s variables.

Research Question

The study will involve one central research question, namely, is social media affecting body image in adolescents? Although online networking sites are popular among adolescents, the effect of one social media on their body image and self-esteem is not well understood (Vries, Peter, Nikken & Graaf, 2014). By examining social media depictions of ideal body figures, the study aims to elucidate how social media use shapes body image perceptions among adolescents.

The research hypothesizes that heavy use of social media causes physical appearance dissatisfaction and poor self-image among teenagers. The second hypothesis is that high social media activity promotes the internalization of socialized appearances and body figures. The null hypothesis is that social networking sites have no influence on teenage self-image attitudes.

Sample Size

The study will use a sample of 30 participants drawn from a middle school. Since data collection will primarily involve questionnaires, this sample size is sufficient for achieving data saturation while eliminating redundancy (Warren & Karner, 2005).

Additionally, the sample size is large enough to capture the variability within the target population (adolescents) at minimal costs. In selecting the sample, the study will use the following inclusion criteria: students who are aged between 13 and 18, frequent social media users (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others), both male and female subjects, and participants drawn from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The sample will need to be diverse in terms of age, gender, race/ethnicity, and grade level to enhance its representativeness of the parent population.

Sampling Technique

The study will use snowball-sampling technique to select participants. According to Camic, Rhodes, and Yardley (2003), this approach will help identify “cases of interest” or a hidden population that is information-rich (p. 14). Additionally, snowballing will protect the confidentiality and privacy of the respondents because recruited participants will identify potential cases of interest in the study (referrals). In this study, the diverse sample of 30 participants generalizes to the adolescent (13-18 years) student population. This demographic includes teenage boys and girls who are heavy users of social media networks.

Study Variables

The study will measure body image satisfaction and correlate it with social media use among the respondents. The key variables will include weight satisfaction, preference for thin figures (girls) and muscular shapes (boys), physical self-concept, and internalized body ideals. It will also measure aspects of user activity on social media such as exposure/frequency, status updates, comments/feedback, and photo uploads and tags.

Operational Definitions of the Variables

  • Weight satisfaction is a measure of how participants perceive their body weight. McCabe and Ricciardelli (2001) establish that females tend to adopt weight loss methods, while males use weight-gaining interventions to build muscles. The weight satisfaction measure will determine whether weight dissatisfaction causes adolescents to use body change strategies.
  • Body figure preference is the pursuit of ‘idealized’ body shapes.
  • Physical self-concept describes how one feels about his or her attractiveness and appearance.
  • Internalized body ideals describe the degree to which the participants pursue the ‘perfect’ body type portrayed in social media.
  • Social media exposure is the total time a user spends in online networking sites in a day. It entails activities such as the status updates made by a user, the type and amount of information shared with friends, and the feedback/comments and photo uploads/tags made or received by a respondent.

Measurement of the Variables

The researcher will use the Body-Esteem Scale (BES) developed by Mendelson, Mendelson, and White (2001) to measure how each participant feels about his or her weight. This validated scale is specifically designed to measure adolescent weight satisfaction based on five Likert scale options. Lower scores suggest body weight dissatisfaction.

The measurement of body figure preference will involve the eating disorder inventory that evaluates a person’s drive for thin figures (Garner, Olmsted & Polivy, 1983). The subjects’ responses will be ranked using a Likert scale. This instrument measures eating disorders, which indicate the fear of gaining weight. Thus, it is a reliable method for assessing body figure preference.

The assessment of the subject’s physical self-concept will involve the self-objectification questionnaire that ranks ten physical characteristics in terms of their effect on a person’s self-concept (Noll & Fredrickson, 1998). It is a validated self-objectification measure that relates physical attractiveness to individual health perceptions to determine a person’s level of emphasis on appearance.

The socio-cultural internalization questionnaire will be used to measure the degree to which the subjects have internalized the ‘ideal’ body types depicted in social media. This instrument was designed using normative data drawn from three different nations (Keery et al., 2004). This makes it a reliable psychometric tool for measuring internalized values and attitudes.

The measurement of social media exposure will involve a questionnaire designed by the researcher to assess the subjects’ use of social networking sites. It will contain yes/no items that measure each respondent’s online activity in terms of photo sharing, feedback sent or received, status updates, profile interests, and sites visited. A pilot testing will be done prior to the actual study to validate the questionnaire (Patton, 2001).

Data Collection Technique

In this study, data collection will involve the survey method. Survey questionnaires will be used to measure the variables related to body image and social media use among the respondents.

Research Design

The study will use a quantitative research design. A quantitative method is appropriate when the purpose of a study is to establish the cause/effect relationship between an independent variable (social media) and a dependent one (body image) (Creswell, 1998). This approach will be used to determine how social media use affects adolescents’ body image.

The researcher will recruit 30 participants from a middle school in VA State after gaining the approval of the school’s administration and the relevant institutional review board. Online newsletters will be placed on the school’s website requesting students to sign up for the study. Sampling will involve the snowballing technique. Interested participants below 18 years will be required to obtain parental consent. Informed consent will be sought from those who have attained 18 years. Data collection will involve survey questionnaires to measure the independent variable (use of social networking sites) and the dependent variable (body image). The survey will be administered after class hours in a lecture room and will take about 30 minutes.

Potential Ethical Issues

One of the major ethical issues relevant to this study is the protection of the privacy of personal information. To protect their privacy, the participants will be identified using codes. The other ethical issue relates to informed consent requirements. Parents will sign consent forms on behalf of minors to permit them to participate in this study.

Literature Review

This topic is very important to me because I have adolescents in my house who constantly use social media. I decided to research the potential causes of using social media and the effects on their body image. There is a lot of harm in this world, and if I can avoid any to their self-esteem, then I feel I have done well.

While writing the following research paper, a great number of different sources were used. Having understood the great importance of social research, the decision to conduct our own investigation was made. The book by Warren, C., and Karner, T Discovering Qualitative Methods: Field Research, Interviews, and Analysis served as the basis for the work because the main peculiarities of qualitative research and its applications are outlined there.

One more work, Qualitative Research in Psychology: Expanding Perspectives in Methodology and Design by Camic, P., Rhodes, E. and Yardley, L also describes the main peculiarities of conducting research in psychology. It was used to create credible and scholarly work in which results can be trusted. The book Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions by J. Creswell always severs to the same purpose.

It describes different approaches to qualitative inquiry and how 5 different forms of studies can be conducted. Patton, M., in his work Qualitative evaluation and research methods also supplies readers with information about the main peculiarities of qualitative researches and main regularities, which should be necessarily observed. Main patterns, which were described in the book, were taken into account and used in the following work. The next work used in the research is written by Garner, D., Olmsted, M. and Polivy, J and is called Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Eating Disorder Inventory for Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia.. It investigates the cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia peculiar for normal-weight women. It shows the main peculiarities of people who were affected by the wrong conceptualization of beauty and their body.

The issue of the great importance of social norms and influence which they have on people is investigated in the article The Sociocultural Internalization of Appearance Questionnaire—Adolescents (SIAQ—A): Psychometric Analysis and Normative Data for Three Countries by Keery, H et al.. It investigates six female samples from different countries to prove the idea of the great level of internalization of appearance. Similar issue investigates the work Parent, Peer, and Media Influences on Body Image and Strategies to both Increase and Decrease Body Size among Adolescent Boys and Girls by McCabe, M., and Ricciardelli, L. Its main aim is to determine the nature of body image peculiar for adolescents and the factors which influence its formation.

The term Body Esteem is very important for our research that is why the work by Mendelson, B., Mendelson, M. and White, D. Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults was taken into account. It researches peculiarities of the appearance and formation of the BE and main aspects of its development. To analyze the peculiarities of disorders connected with eating the work by Noll, S. and Fredrickson, B A Mediational Model Linking Self-objectification, Body Shame, and Disordered Eating was taken into account.

It suggests some research and statistics support the idea that the emotion of body shape influences the food habits of adolescents. Moreover, the article underlines mutual dependence between the feeling of body shame and investment in appearance. This issue is also investigated in the article The Effect of Social Network Site Use on Appearance Investment and Desire for Cosmetic Surgery Among Adolescent Boys and Girls by Vries et al.. It states the fact that communication in networks and difference in behavior peculiar for boys and girls lead to appearance of different ideals. Moreover, the dependence between social network site use and investment in appearance is made.

Results Section

In the course of the study, the statistical tests such as the Tukey’s Honestly Significance Difference Test should be used. The reason for employing the test in question is predetermined by the necessity to demonstrate the correlation between the body image of adolescents and the one that is suggested to the latter as the ideal one with the help of various media tools. It is essential that the above-mentioned research tool helps draw the line between the effects of exposure to certain sets of factors in different groups. In other words, the instrument in question will help measure the rates of dependency on the body image promoted by modern media among two groups of adolescents. The first group will be subjected to the influence of a certain type of media, whereas the other one will be exposed to the influence of an entirely different type.

The effects of media on shaping the body image of adolescents are quite drastic. The research is bound to show that the body image promoted by media is perceived as positive in most cases, which prompts adolescents to the immediate comparison between the ideal body image and their body characteristics. It is expected that the study will prove that in case the results do not coincide with the ones that are promoted by modern media as the acceptable ones, young people attempt at shaping their look.

The specified phenomenon can explain the popularity of plastic surgery among young people as the tool for altering their appearance so that they could resemble the ideal image foisted on them by the popular media. It is assumed that the test results will demonstrate the dependency of young people on the opinions promoted to them by modern media. More importantly, both groups are likely to display a similar tendency to copy the images suggested to them as the ideal ones.

Internal and External Validity

Among the key factors, which may affect the supposed results of the study and, therefore, jeopardize the veracity of the research outcomes, the individual characteristics of each member of the groups and their convictions deserve to be mentioned. It would be naïve to assume that each of the participants will be fully open to new ideas and experiments with their image. In case the ideas, which are foisted onto them by the modern media, are not compatible with their own vision of the world, the adolescents are most likely to dismiss these ideas, and the body image suggested without considering either as a possible part of their life philosophy.

As far as the external validity is concerned, the external validity elements such as the specific setting, the unique ideas, which the participants were introduced to, and the above-mentioned individual characteristics of the research members can be viewed as the impediments to the objectivity of the study. What will ostensibly affect the two groups of people mentioned above may have no tangible effect on other individuals.


Although the research to be carried out may not reinvent adolescent psychology as it is, it will still provide rather interesting results in terms of the effects, which media has on young people. The traditional myth concerning the vulnerability of adolescents may finally be subverted, and new areas for research may be opened. The study in question is bound to provide a basis for the further study of the means for young people to resist the obtrusive body image concept, which modern media promotes to them.

Argosy Online University (2015) Module 2&3 Readings . Web.

Camic, P., Rhodes, E., & Yardley, L. (2003). Qualitative Research in Psychology: Expanding Perspectives in Methodology and Design . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions. Thousand Oaks: CA. Sage Publications, Inc.

Garner, D., Olmsted, M., & Polivy, J. (1983). Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Eating Disorder Inventory for Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2 , 25–34.

Keery, H., Shroff, H., Thompson, J., Wertheim, E., & Smolak, L. (2004). The Sociocultural Internalization of Appearance Questionnaire—Adolescents (SIAQ—A): Psychometric Analysis and Normative Data for Three Countries. Eating & Weight Disorders, 9 , 56–61.

McCabe, M., & Ricciardelli, L. (2001). Parent, Peer, and Media Influences on Body Image and Strategies to both Increase and Decrease Body Size among Adolescent Boys and Girls. Adolescence, 36 (142), 225-40.

Mendelson, B., Mendelson, M., & White, D. (2001). Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults. Journal Personality Assessment, 76 , 90–106.

Patton, M. Q. (2001). Qualitative evaluation and research methods . Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Noll, S., & Fredrickson, B. (1998). A Mediational Model Linking Self-objectification, Body Shame, and Disordered Eating. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22 , 623–636.

Vries, D., Peter, J., Nikken, P., & Graaf, H. (2014). The Effect of Social Network Site Use on Appearance Investment and Desire for Cosmetic Surgery Among Adolescent Boys and Girls. Sex Role, 71 (9), 283-295.

Warren, C., & Karner, T. (2005). Discovering Qualitative Methods: Field Research, Interviews, and Analysis . Los Angeles: Roxbury.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 16). Social Media Effects on Adolescents’ Body Image. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-media-effects-on-adolescents-body-image/

"Social Media Effects on Adolescents’ Body Image." IvyPanda , 16 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/social-media-effects-on-adolescents-body-image/.

IvyPanda . (2020) 'Social Media Effects on Adolescents’ Body Image'. 16 August.

IvyPanda . 2020. "Social Media Effects on Adolescents’ Body Image." August 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-media-effects-on-adolescents-body-image/.

1. IvyPanda . "Social Media Effects on Adolescents’ Body Image." August 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-media-effects-on-adolescents-body-image/.


IvyPanda . "Social Media Effects on Adolescents’ Body Image." August 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-media-effects-on-adolescents-body-image/.

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Impact of Media on Body Image

Media is everywhere. It is on our phones, our computers and laptops, on television, on public transport, at shopping centers, everywhere. Whether we like it or not, we encounter media on a regular basis and will inevitably be influenced by it. Moreover, one does not have to be an expert to recognize that, subconsciously, media is forming the way in which people look at themselves and the world around them. Body image is especially relevant in the context of media because beautiful bodies are often used for advertisement purposes. From gluten-free cereal to a car rental service, adverts often show retouched images of female or male models or celebrities who constantly work on their appearance. Looking at such ads, it is hard not to get self-conscious about one’s appearance, whether it is the body, skin, or hair. Therefore, the influence of media, regardless of its form and method of transfer, is detrimental in establishing a negative perception of the population’s body image.

Researchers have extensively studied the connections between the active engagement of people with different forms of media and their perceptions of their bodies. A recent study by Hogue and Mills (2019) found that engagement with attractive peers on social media increased negative perceptions of body image. The research included 143 young women from York University and concluded that people’s comparisons with individuals of “better” appearance on social media could lower females’ body image concerns. Such findings allow with the previous recommendation that body image gets lower when individuals view images of women who are considered attractive by the social standard. This points to the need to establish body image media literacy programs to highlight the adverse effects of media use. In this context, media literacy refers to the ability of a person to understand when information is needed, as well as recognize how to evaluate, locate, and use it (McLean, Paxton, & Wertheim, 2016). This points to the need to educate the public about a healthy relationship with the media and how it can be managed.

As the world relies heavily on media, the population is bombarded by the images of successful people who have worked on their image for years and even decades. The main issue within this is not the fact that famous people have invested time, effort and money into themselves. Rather, the key problem is that the standard for beauty that is being set is unobtainable for the general public. The way in which many media personalities look is not realistic not only because of heavy makeup or years of exercising but also due to heavy retouching of their images. There are multiple instances in which companies have been caught retouching their advertisements that should have shown realistic images. For example, a skincare brand Dove has admitted to retouching their advertisements the message of which was ‘real beauty.’ Dove faced significant backlash when it turned out that the images were photoshopped to make them more appealing to the target audience. Turns out, even real beauty is being modified on media, with people expected to believe corporations, which, in turn, harms their personal self-perception.

While expecting that TV, advertisements, and posts on social media would become 100% truthful is unrealistic expectations, it is important to voice the concerns about their impact. The airbrushed images of models or actors cause unhealthy habits in vulnerable individuals, especially younger people. Some of the pressing concerns regarding the adverse impact of media have been associated with eating disorders that develop as a result of unrealistic expectations about one’s body. For instance, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a perceptual issue called body dysmorphia. It refers to a misalignment between the way a person looks and the way they think they look (Richards, 2017). Despite being quite slim, people with anorexia feel that they are overweight and try to lose more weight by refusing to eat or over-exercising. Bulimia nervosa is a disorder during which individuals control their weight through fasting or purging, although the condition is harder to spot compared to anorexia. Therefore, apart from general emotional distress, the unrealistic images on media exacerbate the psychological condition to such a degree that a serious intervention could be needed.

Media is here to stay. People will continue being exposed to unrealistic images because the latter are the driving force for advertising and making money. However, there is a high need to educate the population, especially younger people, that they are not expected to look the same as the retouched and airbrushed celebrities. It is imperative for young people to understand that media is only a part of society and will never represent it to the fullest extent. However, one of the main goals is to foster an environment of acceptance that celebrates the diversity of appearance, thought, life choices, and perspectives. In the wake of the recent global turmoil, we should all aim our strength at creating something positive rather than focusing on the negative.

Hogue, J., & Mills, J. (2019). The effects of active social media engagement with peers on body image in young women. Body Image, 28 , 1-5.

McLean, S., Paxton, S., & Wertheim, E. (2016). The role of media in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating: A systematic review. Body Image, 19 , 9-23.

Richards, P. (2017). How does media impact body image and eating disorder rates?  Web.

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Essays on Body Image

Body image essay topics and outline examples, essay title 1: the impact of media on body image: examining stereotypes, unrealistic standards, and their consequences.

Thesis Statement: This essay investigates the influence of media on body image, highlighting the perpetuation of stereotypes, promotion of unrealistic beauty standards, and the resulting psychological and social consequences on individuals.

  • Introduction
  • Media Portrayals: Analyzing the Representation of Bodies in Advertising, Film, and Social Media
  • Unrealistic Standards: Identifying Idealized Body Types and Their Pervasiveness
  • Psychological Effects: Exploring Body Dissatisfaction, Low Self-Esteem, and Eating Disorders
  • Social Consequences: Investigating Peer Pressure, Bullying, and Societal Expectations
  • Media Responsibility: Discussing Accountability and Potential Solutions
  • Conclusion: Reflecting on the Need for Positive Body Image Promotion

Essay Title 2: Body Image and Gender: A Comparative Study of Body Dissatisfaction Among Men and Women

Thesis Statement: This essay examines body image concerns among both men and women, comparing the factors contributing to body dissatisfaction and the unique societal pressures faced by each gender.

  • Gendered Expectations: Analyzing Societal Norms and Stereotypes for Men and Women
  • Body Dissatisfaction Among Women: Factors, Causes, and Consequences
  • Body Dissatisfaction Among Men: Influences, Pressures, and Effects
  • Comparative Analysis: Identifying Commonalities and Differences
  • Media and Gender: Examining the Role of Media in Shaping Body Image
  • Conclusion: Encouraging Inclusivity and Acceptance of Diverse Body Types

Essay Title 3: Promoting Positive Body Image: Strategies for Building Self-Esteem, Confidence, and Healthy Body Image

Thesis Statement: This essay explores strategies and interventions aimed at promoting positive body image, fostering self-esteem, confidence, and a healthy relationship with one's body.

  • Body Positivity Movement: Overview and Goals
  • Self-Esteem Building: Strategies for Enhancing Self-Worth
  • Media Literacy: Teaching Critical Evaluation of Media Messages
  • Educational Programs: Implementing Body Image Curriculum in Schools
  • Supportive Communities: Creating Safe Spaces for Discussions and Support
  • Conclusion: Empowering Individuals to Embrace Their Bodies

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The Beauty of The Human Body

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Body image refers to an individual's perception, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes toward their own physical appearance, including their size, shape, and overall attractiveness. It encompasses the subjective evaluation and interpretation of one's body, influenced by societal standards, cultural ideals, personal experiences, and internalized beliefs.

The term "body image" originated in the early 20th century and emerged as a concept in the field of psychology. It was first introduced by Austrian-American psychoanalyst Paul Schilder in his influential book "The Image and Appearance of the Human Body" published in 1935. Schilder used the term to describe the mental representation or perception an individual has of their own body. He recognized that body image is not solely based on physical appearance but also influenced by one's subjective experiences, emotions, and cultural factors.

The historical context of the concept of body image is rooted in the cultural and societal values that have evolved over time. Throughout history, different civilizations and time periods have held varying perceptions and ideals of physical beauty. In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, physical attractiveness was often associated with ideals of symmetry, proportion, and strength. These ideals were reflected in the art, sculptures, and literature of the time. During the Renaissance period, beauty ideals shifted to embrace fuller figures, as seen in the works of renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. However, in subsequent centuries, a slender and delicate physique became more prominent as the desired standard of beauty. In the 20th and 21st centuries, mass media and globalization have greatly influenced body image perceptions. The rise of fashion magazines, advertising, and the entertainment industry has propagated a narrow and often unrealistic ideal of beauty, emphasizing thinness and specific physical features.

Internal factors include personal experiences, emotions, and cognitive processes. These include past traumas, social comparisons, self-esteem, and the development of one's self-concept. Personal beliefs, attitudes, and thoughts about body size, shape, and appearance also play a role in shaping body image. External factors encompass societal, cultural, and media influences. Societal beauty standards, cultural ideals of attractiveness, and media portrayals of the "ideal" body can significantly impact how individuals perceive themselves. Media platforms, such as magazines, television, and social media, can shape body image by promoting unrealistic body standards and presenting edited or curated representations of beauty. Family, peers, and social interactions also contribute to body image. Supportive relationships, positive feedback, and acceptance from significant others can foster a healthy body image, while negative comments, teasing, or bullying can have detrimental effects.

Positive body image: Individuals with positive body image have a realistic and accepting view of their bodies. They appreciate their bodies for their functionality, health, and unique qualities, rather than solely focusing on appearance. Negative body image: Negative body image involves a distorted and critical perception of one's body. Individuals with negative body image may experience dissatisfaction, self-consciousness, and preoccupation with perceived flaws or imperfections. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD): BDD is a psychological disorder characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with perceived flaws in one's appearance. Individuals with BDD may have a distorted body image and engage in compulsive behaviors or seek excessive cosmetic interventions. Body dissatisfaction: Body dissatisfaction refers to a general sense of discontentment with one's body. It can range from mild dissatisfaction to extreme distress and may be influenced by societal beauty standards and cultural ideals. Body appreciation: Body appreciation involves having a positive and accepting attitude towards one's body. It focuses on self-care, self-acceptance, and nurturing a healthy relationship with the body.

Body positivity: There is a growing movement advocating for body positivity, which promotes acceptance and appreciation of diverse body types and challenges traditional beauty standards. Supporters emphasize the importance of self-love, inclusivity, and embracing one's unique features. Body shaming: Body shaming involves criticizing or ridiculing individuals based on their appearance. It can come from societal pressures, media influences, or personal biases. However, there is an increasing awareness of the harm caused by body shaming and efforts to combat it. Unrealistic beauty standards: Many people believe that media and advertising perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards, leading to negative body image issues. These standards often promote thinness, muscularity, or other specific physical attributes, which can contribute to feelings of inadequacy or pressure to conform. Mental health implications: There is a growing recognition of the impact of body image on mental health. Public opinion is increasingly acknowledging the need for support, education, and resources to address body image concerns, including eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and low self-esteem.

Media: In recent years, there has been an increased effort to feature diverse body types and promote body positivity. Brands like Dove have launched campaigns celebrating real beauty, challenging narrow beauty ideals. The popular TV show "This Is Us" has been praised for its portrayal of characters with different body shapes and sizes, promoting body acceptance. Literature: Books like "Dumplin'" by Julie Murphy and "The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf have tackled body image issues. "Dumplin'" explores the journey of a plus-sized teen challenging beauty pageant norms, while "The Beauty Myth" critically analyzes the societal pressures placed on women's bodies. Social media: Influencers and content creators on platforms like Instagram and YouTube have played a significant role in shaping body image discussions. Body-positive influencers like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence promote self-love and body acceptance through their platforms. Documentaries: Documentaries like "Embrace" and "The Illusionists" delve into the impact of media on body image and challenge conventional beauty standards. They examine the relationship between media representation, self-esteem, and body image issues.

1. According to a survey by the National Eating Disorders Association, 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. 2. Research indicates that exposure to thin-ideal media images can negatively impact body satisfaction and contribute to the development of eating disorders. 3. The fashion industry has faced criticism for promoting unrealistic body standards. In a study analyzing popular fashion magazines, it was found that 70% of women featured were considered underweight. 4. Body dissatisfaction affects both men and women. Approximately 45% of men in Western countries reported being dissatisfied with their appearance. 5. Studies show that individuals who spend more time on social media platforms are more likely to experience body dissatisfaction.

The topic of body image is an important subject to explore and write an essay about due to its widespread impact on individuals and society. Body image issues are pervasive in our culture, affecting people of all ages and genders. Understanding the significance of body image is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, body image has a profound impact on individuals' mental health and well-being. Negative body image can lead to low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, and the development of eating disorders. Exploring the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to body image issues can help raise awareness and promote healthier attitudes towards one's body. Secondly, body image is closely linked to societal standards and media influence. Analyzing how media, fashion, and advertising industries perpetuate unrealistic beauty ideals allows us to critically examine the impact of these industries on individuals' self-perception and self-worth. Lastly, body image intersects with various social issues such as gender, race, and body diversity. Addressing body image concerns involves understanding the complex dynamics of identity, representation, and inclusivity.

1. Cash, T. F., & Pruzinsky, T. (Eds.). (2002). Body image: A handbook of theory, research, and clinical practice. Guilford Press. 2. Dittmar, H., & Howard, S. (Eds.). (2004). Body image, eating disorders, and obesity in youth: Assessment, prevention, and treatment. American Psychological Association. 3. Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. A. (Eds.). (1997). Objectification theory: Toward understanding women's lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21(2), 173-206. 4. Garner, D. M., & Garfinkel, P. E. (Eds.). (1997). Handbook of treatment for eating disorders (2nd ed.). Guilford Press. 5. Grogan, S. (2016). Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women, and children (4th ed.). Routledge. 6. Halliwell, E. (2015). Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. Sage Publications. 7. Levine, M. P., & Smolak, L. (Eds.). (2014). The Wiley handbook of eating disorders (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. 8. Rumsey, N., & Harcourt, D. (Eds.). (2005). The Oxford handbook of the psychology of appearance. Oxford University Press. 9. Tiggemann, M. (2018). Positive body image: A handbook of science, practice, and prevention. Oxford University Press. 10. Thompson, J. K., & Smolak, L. (Eds.). (2001). Body image, eating disorders, and obesity in youth: Assessment, prevention, and treatment (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

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body image on social media essay

Body Image - Essay Examples And Topic Ideas For Free

Body image, the perception that an individual has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception, significantly affects self-esteem and overall mental health. Essays on body image could explore the factors influencing body image, including media representation, societal expectations, and personal experiences. Discussions might also delve into the impact of negative body image on mental health and the importance of promoting a positive body image. Additionally, exploring the initiatives aimed at challenging conventional beauty standards and promoting body positivity can provide insight into the ongoing efforts to foster a healthier societal attitude towards diverse body shapes and sizes. We have collected a large number of free essay examples about Body Image you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Social Media and Body Image Essay

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Social Media and Body Image

Beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder. It has been altered, copied and pasted, and manipulated to look like everyone else. Societies’ view on beauty has been molded throughout the years to confine to narrow ideas of beauty. These beauty standards have been filled with negative images portrayed by the media. Today’s media has been manipulated with images with photoshop editing, fad diets and unrealistic expectations on standards of what a person should look like. Even though social […]

About Sexism in the Music Industry

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Body Image and Self Esteem

The impact of low self-esteem and negative body image is adversely affecting adolescents as they try to fit in in a never-ending society of expectations. The definition of body image according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary is "a subjective picture of one's own physical appearance established both by self-observation and by noting the reactions of others. Body image is not just decided by ourselves, it is also decided by others. This occurs when people have physical reactions and facial expressions. The definition […]

Instagram is your Way to Poor Body Image

The Royal Society of Public Health conducted a study on European teens.they asked 1,500 Young people ranging from 14-24 years old living In the UK to rank the most used social medias and identifying their issue. they realIzed that Instagram, which was one of the top five used social medias, was actually the most harmful to mental health. They found that, "Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing –both platforms are very image-focused and appears […]

Low Self Esteem in Teens

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Eating Disorders Body Dissatisfaction and Self-Esteem Among South Korean Women

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Impact Media on Eating Disorders

With all of our current understanding so far we can see how much of an impact media has on triggering eating disorders. Research has only just begun to analyze the relationship between social media outlets such as facebook, body image and symptoms of eating disorders. Facebook is available at the fingertips of most adolescents today which allows them easy access to seek social comparison and negative feedback. Therefore it is an essential area to examine in relation to eating disordered […]

Disordered Eating in Instagram Fitness Inspiration Models

In the article titled ""Strong beats skinny every time"": Disordered eating and compulsive exercise in women who post fitspiration on Instagram, researchers conducted a study to see whether women who post images on Instagram about ""fitspiration"" were more likely to participate in disordered eating than women who primarily posted images about travel. They sent out surveys to women on Instagram from both groups that posted at least ten fitness inspiration photos and the other group that has posted at least […]

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Beauty Pageants for Children should be Banned: Protecting Child Well-being

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Effects of Social Media on Body Image Essay Example

Social media and family shape people's perspectives on physical activity in society. Without a doubt, social media impacts our perceptions of appearance and fitness. Despite the negative connotations associated with social media, we are continuously exposed to photos uploaded online. As a result, body image and social media have become intertwined. As a result, social media seems to have a beneficial and negative impact on how we see ourselves.

Body image is strongly intertwined with sports participation, and sports interaction enhances body image. Ricciardelli and McCabe discovered in 2004 that one's body image had a beneficial impact on sports involvement; in other words, the much more positive one's body image becomes, the more active one will be in sports. Further, social media challenges us to make beneficial changes in our daily lives, such as eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and working hard to reach our objectives. Social media users can keep a healthy and positive attitude towards their bodies by adopting these adjustments. Regrettably, social media has more detrimental effects on our body image than positive effects. It establishes unreasonable standards and encourages us to compare ourselves to others, leading to self-doubt. Both women and men compare their bodies to those in the media, according to a survey performed by the Florida House Experience, a healthcare organisation. A total of 1,000 men and women participated in the poll, which focused on their body image, confidence, and use of social media. According to the findings, 87 per cent of women and 65 per cent of men compare their bodies to social media photographs. In that comparison, 50% of women and 37% of men think their bodies are unattractive. People who have a negative attitude towards their bodies are more likely to have social body anxiety, which lowers their self-esteem.

I find myself comparing myself to others on social media more than I'd want to admit, whether it's professional athletes, collegiate athletes, peers, or simply random people with a large fan base. It has a significant impact on my body image, though it does not always affect me negatively. My perceptions of myself and my athleticism are influenced by how social media presents being "fit" or "athletic." I don't fit into the stereotypes that social media has imposed on athletes. In sports, having a negative body image is a huge barrier that demotivates me to engage in training or games, because people will always have an opinion on your physical appearance, even if you don't want them to. Serena Williams, an American tennis star who revolutionised women's tennis with her forceful style of play and won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other woman or man during the open period, is another example of someone whose body image is influenced by social media. "What was celebrated while I was growing up was different," Serena Williams continued in an article. "Venus appeared to be more of what is truly acceptable: she had incredibly long legs and is extremely slim. I didn't see any thick folks on TV who looked like myself. There was no such thing as a positive body image. It was a different era back then." She was affected by social media and began to feel uncomfortable in her own skin.

Knowing more is one of the most effective strategies to overcome this issue. Unexpected mental health and body image difficulties will continue to arise as a result of social media, particularly in terms of how we perceive our own body image. A lot more research is needed in terms of preventative measures and treatment for a negative body image generated by social media. Fortunately, there are still things that can be done, such as following accounts that promote healthy living with factual information or learning how body-positive influencers approach body image or withdrawing from social media to be more active. 

It probably won't surprise you to find that our families shape a lot of our attitudes towards our bodies. From a young age, many of us are aware of this influence on our body image.

According to the Girl Scout Research Group, 5 out of 10 girls believe that their families have an impact on how they feel about their bodies. But, are the values we receive from our family motivating or disheartening?

This may sound like a far-fetched scenario, but parents and families regularly discuss food and weight with their children in similar ways. "You've put on a few pounds, haven't you?" For example, a family member may make remarks. "Here's a diet soda can." In the case of an overweight child, a parent may propose that the child accompany her on a diet plan. While having well-organized, healthy eating habits is a crucial component of living a healthy lifestyle, even well-intentioned comments and dietary restrictions can impact a teen's self-esteem and development. Peer pressure and media depictions of bodies and health have a big influence on a teen's body image. As previously said, our perceptions of ourselves and our bodies have an impact on our engagement in sports and physical activities. Family members, on the other hand, encourage and support their children to be more active and participate in and enjoy physical activity. In most cases, family is one of the most powerful motivators for their children's participation in sports.

It's difficult to get out of being body-conscious when you've already become self-conscious. I've tried to weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages. But the truth is that I am still self-conscious about my appearance, and I can confidently say that I am not over it. No media or film industry has the power to influence us as much as our own family, but with so many families failing to acknowledge how their concerns are affecting their children to become self-conscious regarding their bodies. Family members are not always aware of how their words affect their child's body image and self-esteem. It's obvious to see how remarks regarding weight gains might harm one's consciousness. They may have a similar impact in that they give us the feeling that others are continuously evaluating our bodies, making us feel even more self-conscious. I find myself hearing jokes made about my fitness or weight from family members and taking them too seriously at times, which discourages me from participating in sports. These comments and jokes that are made lead to constant negative thoughts and self-doubt. Similarly, a close friend of mine who was a netball player and an athlete also has this issue, her parents constantly commenting on how skinny she is has a tremendous impact on how she perceives her body. She has resulted in eating excessively to gain weight and she engaged less in physical activity as she thought that, being active was the cause of her weight loss and why she was skinny. This lead to her losing her passion for her sports and she was hesitant and self-conscious about participating in physical activity in physical education classes or extracurricular activities. 

The problem is that there is no such thing as a "perfect" body, at least not in the way that the media defines it. Models' photos are routinely altered in order to make them appear thinner or to improve their features. As a result, chasing the "perfect" figure will only leave you disappointed. Low self-esteem results, which can have a detrimental impact on every aspect of one's life. Instead of discussing dieting, a family member should focus on eating healthily and encouraging their children to exercise more, not to lose or gain weight, but to grow healthier and stronger. 

In conclusion, I have weighed up all the positives and negatives that family and social media has on our body image and how it affects our physical activity in the process and have found that it is one of the biggest barriers and demotivators to participating in physical activities.

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