My Experience with Social Media and Body Image

An issue that is very close to my heart is the battle with eating disorders, a close childhood friend of mine suffered from one. Since discovering this I began research eating disorders. The first place I looked was on a social networking site as opposed to a medical website, I wanted to understand what it might be like to be in her position. After that I heard her speak of both pro-ana and pro-recovery tumblr blogs and I worried that this thing that she had unhindered access to could be triggering for her. So, I watched her blog for signs, signs that I might have missed in her daily routine and there were no real signs. Except what I once believed was her just enjoying her life began to look like a performance as she often blogged about loving food. After that when I was given the chance I used whatever platform I could but especially social media to spread awareness about eating disorders. When I was given the chance to do a research project for high school with the aim of changing the world, the effect of social media on teen girls body image was my topic of choice. I did research to prove that it was a relevant topic. One of the things that I did to research this project was working with a class of grade 9 girls to get their honest opinion on social media and body image issues. The response I got supported all of the research I had done but something about being in that room changed the way I looked at social media forever. I believe something has to change and I’m working on ways to change it but for now I will use every chance that I get to raise awareness because if it touches even one person, it might change them too.

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