Through means of the website DoSomething.org (https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-body-image), I was able to access and analyze a lot of statistics about social media and its relevance to how it influences body image and body perception.
Here are some of the statistics that stood out to me in regards to this social issue:
91% of women worldwide are displeased with their bodies and body image, leading them to diet in order to obtain their desired body shape.
A mere 5% of women worldwide naturally possess the glorified female body image displayed in media.
Teenagers/students who spend more time engaging in use of social media place greater value on physical appearance than those who refrain from over-consumption of social media use.
To go even further, Enayati (2012, N. Pag) makes reference in her article to a study conducted in 2011 by the University of Halifax which determined that the greater time adolescent girls spent on social media websites, specifically Facebook, the likeliness of developing a negative body image perception as well as eating disorders increased.
These following statistics come from the Teen Health and the Media website (http://depts.washington.edu/thmedia/view.cgi?section=bodyimage&page=fastfacts):
In a study conducted on fifth graders, girls and boys 10 years of age informed researchers they were dissatisfied with their own bodies after viewing a music video by Britney Spears or an excerpt from the TV show “Friends”.
In movies and television shows, 58% of female characters and 24% of men encountered comments about their physical appearance.
1 in 3, or 37% of articles published in popular teen girl magazines focused on physical appearance and 50% of advertisements existing in the same magazines promoted the importance of physical image and beauty to sell their products.
I am aware that television shows and movies fail to fall into a categorization of social media, but these statistics speak volumes – the numbers don’t lie.
Social media and its influence on an individual’s perception of body image, self-worth and physical appearance is a worldwide, growing issue. The correlation between social media and body image is undeniable, and as more research and studies are conducted and performed, more and more alarming statistics are revealed.
Social media and body image is an issue that continues to worsen as the obsession with networking continues, and it is essential to acknowledge its future potential in order to attempt to determine a way to resolve this issue now.