Recently, I made the decision to join the social media world of Instagram. The site was enticing due to the fact I could partake in all my usual internet activities – mainly catching up with my friends, following the antics of the Kardashians and searching for clever Harry Potter memes – all within the one app. However as I began to browse the ‘search photos’ section, I was sucked into another world of Instagram users.
Photos of users ‘thinspiration’ role models, kale smoothies, waist trainers, protuberant hip bones and an abundance of gym-gear-wearing girls continued to fill up my screen. One tap on such a photo could send you into an hour long detective mission to find the best protein shake or fad diet. Although it is easy to dismiss these photos, these kinds of images also awaken a host of body insecurities in which social media is acting as a catalyst.
Women cannot read a magazine or watch the television without encountering some kind of media in which women’s bodies are scrutinised and nit-picked. This kind of body shaming is now working its way into social media, and in particularly photo-sharing sites such as Instagram. Ritually following instagrammer’s weight loss and diets creates the idea that they are an ideal, and therefore you are not. Reality TV names such as Charlotte Crosby, Vicky Pattinson, the Kardashian sisters, Lucy Mecklenburgh and Millie Mackintosh all claim to be ‘real’ people who have found stardom through reality shows that capture their genuine lives. However, their Instagrams are overwhelmingly full of images relating to workout DVDs, slimming drinks, waist enhancers and gym activities. How can we deal with our insecurities when the ‘real’ people are pushing us to change our bodies?
Everyone has their flaws; it’s what makes us human. Gazing at celebrities’ photo-shopped images and partaking in their latest quest to drop a dress size in 30 days is not healthy for the mind. Surely these famous females should promote the empowerment of women instead of raspberry ketones and slimming herbal tea. Loving the skin you’re in is easier said than done, and would be more achievable without celebrity names pushing weight loss products in the face of social media users.