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Is social media leading to body dysmorphia?

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Body dysmorphia is a serious concern within the 21st century. Both males and females are struggling with their bodies due to new expectations that have been set by social media. Nowadays, social media is the biggest influence on how we perceive our bodies. The norm is for women to be skinny and tall like modern day models and for men to be ripped like athletes. This standard is causing 49 percent of the population to diet.

An opposing viewpoint that most people believe is that social media does not pressure people, especially women, into having a negative body perception of themselves. It is their choice to feel and think negatively about themselves. Opposing views also believe that social media does not set an example of a “perfect body” and magazines, TV shows, and social media posts should not influence the way you feel about yourself. Although, many people would disagree with this opposing viewpoint, it is valid.

Body dysmorphia is closely linked with self-esteem. Low self-esteem within the younger generations can lead to substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, eating disorder, etc. According to statistics from Dosomething.org, 70 percent of young girls, ages 15-17, struggle with self-esteem and negative body perception. Some girls also have a not so healthy home life and that can greatly affect one’s perception on themselves and on life. The community can stand together to help reinforce that everyone is beautiful and if you have nothing nice and pleasing to say to someone then don’t say it at all.

Even though body dysmorphia is an ongoing issue, a simple act of kindness can build confidence within a person. There are a few solutions that could help resolve the issue. Some examples of them would be posting encouraging notes on the school bathroom mirrors, giving a nice compliment to someone and finally listening to someone who is struggling with an issue. These examples are some ways that we as humans can help to lower the societal archetypes that social media puts on us.

Victoria Gregory and Ty’Anna Fleming are students in Cherilyn Murray’s English IV class at North Wake College and Career Academy in Wake Forest. This column is the third of three written by students in Murray’s class which have been published on this opinion page.


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