Dear America: Social media is unhealthy

Health is more important than weight.

Dear America: Social media is unhealthy

Julia Hemingway, Staff Writer

All people have different features like eye color or hair type. Personalities, heights and hair colors all are accepted and considered beautiful by society. But why then are all “good and healthy” bodies supposed to look the same?

The fitness and health websites seem to always have overly muscular or slim people plastered everywhere. But if you look at the people around you, you’ll realize this is completely unrealistic.

People can be in perfectly good shape without being model skinny.  Size and weight does not show how healthy or unhealthy a person is. There are many different body types that people can have and as long as it’s healthy, your weight shouldn’t matter. All bodies are different and there is no such thing as “one size fits all.”

Social media can make people feel like they’re not enough if they don’t fit the typical beauty standard. Who are the people behind these articles and websites? I’d be willing to bet that they are not the quintessential model skinny human. Once people realize that ALL people should be valued based on who they are on the inside, the world will be a much easier place to live in.

There are phrases online like “How to drop from a size 10 to a size 2 in 3 weeks” by only eating vegetables or trying crazy fasting diets that are not healthy or safe. Whatever happened to taking care of your body by exercising, eating well and sleeping?

This is no longer enough. Now in order to look like the model skinny human you must starve yourself, and at the end of the day you may feel skinny but it won’t make you truly healthier.

It shouldn’t matter how much you weigh as long as you are happy and feel healthy. People shouldn’t have to feel obligated to change themselves to try and fit the unrealistic beauty standards that the internet has placed on us.

This picture shows that everyone is beautiful and there is no such thing as “bikini bodies” (Good Housekeeping)

If you scroll through Tik Tok or Instagram, these ideals are prominently featured. “Good looking people” have more followers and are praised whereas “ugly people” as defined by the media and us are viewed as less. This has become the normal type of content portrayed and it is extremely harmful.

Some sites have tried to steer away from body shaming and saying phrases like “bikini bodies” and photo shopping pictures. But the mainstream websites appearing online seem to still show unrealistic standards.

Constantly seeing “perfect” people plastered everywhere can have a very harmful effect on people struggling with body image or eating disorders. Social media can be very superficial and distorted. The media should display more diverse people instead of only showing who they consider “perfect.”

A study found that 52% of girls and 45% of boys have behaviors that are associated with eating disorders such as skipping meals or using fasting diets to try and become skinnier. Within those statistics, 75% of those children were found to have social media accounts that they overuse. The risk of eating disorders and body issues have been found to be higher with people who overly use social media and constantly compare themselves to models and other influences.

Before the rise of social media and the internet, there seemed to be less comparisons of people. In the real world, there are many different types of people but online only certain types of people seem to be portrayed. Social media is partially at fault for the increase of eating disorders.  We need to pay more attention to what the media portrays and make sure everyone feels accepted as a person just the way they are.

She promotes health, fashion and mental health too. (Stephanie Yeboah)

A positive influence on social media is Stephanie Yeboah. She is a black plus sized woman who constantly presents the ideas of self love and that all bodies are perfect. Throughout her website, she inspires all types of people and helps others overcome struggles with their body image. She believes that people should be valued on their minds instead of their weight or size. She is the type of person who has a positive effect on social media and possibly the world.

Not all social media is bad; there are some positive things online too. But, technology and social media can be an unhealthy addiction if not monitored and used properly. This has turned into a large issue that can be fixed easily by creating more positivity. Your self worth shouldn’t be determined by anyone but you. The first step to be being happy is loving every part of yourself, and now would be a great time to start that.