Social media has become a prominent way for people to connect. Yet social media has a dark side, especially when it comes to body image.
Today, many people who routinely visit social media sites feel uncomfortable with their bodies. The problem lies in social media’s celebration of perfection. Very rarely do posters upload images of themselves looking normal. Instead, they use filters and other strategies to present only their best photos. This can leave viewers feeling insecure. In extreme cases, some people end up experiencing body dysmorphic disorder.
What Is Body Dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphia describes when individuals begin to feel that their bodies look imperfect or wrong. People with body dysmorphia tend to obsess about their perceived flaws and try to do anything they can to minimize them.
Some people with body dysmorphic disorder may choose elective plastic surgery. Others go on excessive and dangerous dieting or workout binges in attempts to sculpt their shapes. Regardless, a preoccupation with body image often cuts into their ability to enjoy being the unique, interesting people they are.
How to Cope With Poor Body Image
It can be challenging to know how to overcome low self-esteem related to body image. However, coping with body dysmorphia is critical for mental well-being.
Some methods that can help you overcome body dysmorphia include:
- Avoiding social media. In some cases, people have simply de-activated their accounts.
- Getting help from a professional counselor. A professional can help you gain perspective on body image and social media.
- Practicing acts of self-gratitude. Being kind starts at home and begins in the mirror.
- Stopping excessive exercise regimens. Though spending time at the gym or outside is good for the body, too much exercise can become a problem.
- Challenging negative thoughts related to self-image. Learning to turn off toxic thoughts can be the first step toward a healthier body image overall.
Final Thoughts on Social Media and Body Image
Social media can be a great way for people to connect with one another. The key is to realize that users rarely post anything that could put them in a negative light, picking the best selfies instead of images that represent their real lives.
By having a healthy understanding of the limits of social media, individuals can reduce their risks of experiencing body dysmorphia and related issues. Some may even want to buck the typical social media trend by presenting pictures that are more accurate depictions of everyday life.
Want to get help with body image issues? Set up an appointment with one of our counselors today.