"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”- A famous phrase from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. Just like the evil queen was obsessed with her appearance and felt outraged when the mirror answered that her stepdaughter Snow White was prettiest and fairest. People in the real world are also conscious of their physical appearance which in turn is majorly influenced by images of perfection on social media. The social media usually portrays extraordinary images of beauty and thinness which are difficult to achieve and often leads to frustration eventually affecting mental health acutely. Therefore, in today’s time it has become extremely important to develop a positive body image and be comfortable in one’s own skin.
Body image can be defined as the way people perceive themselves and how they think others view their bodies. In today’s time, with the growing sense of an ideal body image, people specially adolescents are trying to lose or gain body weight in order to attain a perfect body.
Social media has played a crucial role in shaping the popular culture and hence often influences the public opinion. The images portrayed by the various social media platforms tend to make people strive for an ‘ideal’ body. Stereotypes formed by the media include thin, tall, tanned women and wealthy, muscular, broad men. Such stereotypes have resulted in a decline of self-acceptance for one’s body and only lead to a greater sense of a negative body image. Such negative body images projected by the media has led to various physical problems including bulimia, anorexia, low self-esteem and depression, especially among the youth. Rekha and Maran (2012) in a study on advertisement pressure and its impact on body image in Chennai with 915 women concluded that nearly 30% of the participants felt pressurized by the advertisements and majority of them idealized a thinness image which led to body dissatisfaction.
Therefore, it is important to build a strong and positive body image. A positive body image involves accepting your body for what it and understanding that bodies come in many shapes and sizes. Developing a positive image involves 3 crucial characteristics:
- Good self esteem
- A positive attitude
- Emotional awareness and self-control (also known as emotional stability)
All around the globe, in an attempt to impress others and to achieve the epitome of beauty people suffer from a negative body image which impacts their physical and mental health acutely. A major role in the development of a negative body image is played by the mass media. Therefore, building a positive body image is extremely important.
It is thus time to embrace yourself and your body- accept it for what it is. You are your own beautiful. So walk around with your head held high, showing off your beauty and flaunting your flaws like they are your perfections.
- Essays, UK. (November 2018). The Influence Of Body Image And Self Esteem Psychology Essay. Retrieved from here.
- Positive Body Image (2019) Retrieved from here.
- Rekha, V. S., & Maran, K. (2012). ADVERTISEMENT PRESSURE AND ITS IMPACT ON BODY DISSATISFACTION AND BODY IMAGE PERCEPTION OF WOMEN IN INDIA. Global Media Journal: Indian Edition, 3(1).