Table 2.1 Social Media 2.2 Body Shaming

                                      Tableof contents   1.

     Introduction2.     Definition2.1  SocialMedia 2.2  BodyShaming3.     PsychologicalEffect3.1  Impacton Society3.

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2  Instagramas an example– Maslow 3.3  Effecton teenagers4.     TheConcept of Beauty in the Eye of Social Media and Socialization5.     CommonConsequences 5.

1  BodyDissatisfaction5.2  MentalHealth5.3  Eatingdisorders6.     Conclusion7.

     References8.     Appendices                  Introduction  In July 2016, the playboy model Dani Marthers wasblamed for taking a selfie of her and a naked woman in a fitness studio. Theimage shows her, covering the mouth with her hand, and a caption which says,’if I can’t unsee this than you can’t either’. Subsequently she posted thispicture on Snapchat without the woman’s permission and a wave of indignation byher fans was followed. Later, the model has been accused for body shaming theother woman and for violation of privacy. What could be a reason for suchbehavior? Did this action affect the victim? Many people shame and judge others because they havedetermined their own definition of beauty and only consider people and objectsas beautiful if they fit to their concept.

Living in the 21stcentury, social media has gained prevalence over the past century in thesociety due to digitalization as electronics became more relevant to humannecessities in an everyday life. With the increasing value of social media, theinteraction between people over social network communities, such as Facebook,Instagram or Twitter, has gained much significance as well. Despite more people creating profiles on social networkplatforms, this behavior eases the communication between human beings, itfacilitates to express their own opinion. The reason is that the opinion doesnot get directly delivered face –to –face, but electronically with an onlinepost or a text message. When talking about body shaming, meaning to criticizesomeone based on their looks, and social media, does social media ‘support’ or contributesbody shaming as it is easier for people to comment, express and share theiropinion online, respectively, what effect has social media to body shaming/ howdoes social media effect body shaming? This research paper discusses the impactof social media, specifically its communication platforms, on people’s behaviorto body shame, whether it contributes to such kind of act or is spreading awareness. AbstractBody shaming is criticism based on someone’s bodyshape and size.

Therefore there are three different kinds of shaming someonewhich is self-shaming, direct shaming and the indirect shaming. This paperreviews research done on social media and how it affects body shaming. Socialmedia plays a great role influencing body shaming, since it sets the standardfor what is considered beautiful based on models and celebrities uploadingpictures on the internet. It is key to note the harmful effects body shaminghas on the mindset of people, especially teenagers. It is also important tothink of ways to prevent body shaming or reduce the negative effects it has onsociety. Definitions –      Social Media More than just asocial community, social media connects people with other people who haveaccess to the global network, for example over social networks like Facebook orInstagram.

Additionally, it includes a variety of platforms and tools whichconduces communication, interaction and exchange of contents and information.Which are social networks, video platforms, mobile communities, forums, blogs,social bookmarking and open-source-platforms. Therefore the Social Web providesfour kinds of communication which are Many-to-many-communication, One-to-many-communication,One-to-one-communication and Many-to-one-communication. TheMany-to-many-communication functioned as followed: As social media offers usersthe possibility to create capacity and share it through different channels.Applying it to this communication-style, a user produces content whereas anexchange of different opinions follows. The discussions occurs among otherusers and has not time limited, meaning that it is eternal.  TheOne-to-many-communication, compared to the Many-to-many-communication is nolonger fashionable. In which one user communicates to many users.

This is especiallyseen in the concept of mass communication. For example, an advertisement isshown through television. Many people will see this content as many humanbeings have access to television. The advertisement delivers information to amass of people, but mostly, viewers, respectively, the mass is not able torespond to the advertisement.

One-to-one-communicationis about one user speaking to one other user of the social web. A typicalexample for this is, a friend messaging one other friend over WhatsApp.            Many-to-one-communication isexplained as users transmit messages or information and other users obtain themedium but the user receiving it does not know the user who was sending it. Theperson stays anonymous.

  –      Bodyshaming  Body shaming is criticism based on someone’s bodyshape and size. Therefore there are three different kinds of shaming someonewhich is self-shaming, direct shaming and the indirect shaming.            Self-shamingcontains the criticism on oneself.

These people do not consider themselves asbeautiful. Many reasons appear for such characteristic like the comparison tosomebody else or the admiration of somebody. For example, a girl is a fan of acelebrity. She wants to imitate her, and so, her body as well.

On the otherhand the celebrity has a skinny body. To the girl’s realization, she does nothas the same body shape and starts shaming herself.            Withdirect shaming, people express their act of shaming directly to the “victim’s”.For instance, a student thinks that his class mate is too fat. Therefore hegoes to him and shames the class mate directly.            Theindirect shaming illustrates the shame of a person behind the back.

Which meansthat the victim gets criticized without their knowledge. A typical example isan inappropriate talk between two people, containing body shame, without theperson who they talk about is present.The concept of shaming arises from the cognitiveprocesses that take place in the minds of individuals. Different standards ofbeauty across the globe give space to potential conflict in ideas andacceptance of what it means to be beautiful. For example, in some countries inAfrica, it is deemed more attractive when the males are slightly overweightbecause it shows that they have wealth. Another example is in the UnitedStates, where celebrities serve as the ideal body type for the common peopleand when people are not like the celebrities then they are shamed. Causes of body shaming             Thereare three ways where body shaming can be viewed.

One is criticizing your ownappearance, criticizing someone behind their back, and criticizing someone infront of them. Criticism your own appearance is caused by self-esteem issuesthat are influenced by friends and family as well as media outlets. All ofsociety combined plays a role in defining many boundaries of daily life includingbody standards. When one does not feel comfortable in their skin, they tend tobody shame themselves by comparing themselves to another person. Criticism donedirectly in front of someone can be caused by envy, hate, or anger towards theother person. If one person feels they need to hurt the other, they can choosesomething in the other person’s body that does not fit societal standards andbody shame them. Criticizing someone behind their back is also due to a personbeing upset, annoyed, or intimidated. This is something that may have been keptinside of people since adolescence where it feels easiest to hurt someone whenrevenge is at hand.

However, instead of physically hurting them, many peopleresort to body shaming. Body shaming can also be caused by the lack ofconfidence to confront the person and tell them why there is emotional conflictbetween them. Saying things such as “I’m scared to lose this friendship” showsa vulnerability that many people would like to avoid showing.              Anotherimportant aspect that can be a cause for body shaming is within Maslow’shierarchy of needs. Since many people want to feel love and belonging, theythrive to do anything in order to fit in. This comes through following thenorms of society and following what friends and family suggest in order to feelloved. People will try their hardest to belong into society, therefore manypeople will take extreme measures to accomplish this.

This can be seen indepression and eating disorders due to the inability to accomplish their goalalthough they are trying their hardest to. People need a sense of belonging andtherefore it is essential to follow what they believe is the perfect bodyimage. People that body shame others can also be related to Maslow’s pyramid.This is because one of the levels is esteem.

When people have low self-esteemand want to increase it, they do so by either trying to make themselves lookbetter or by hurting the others around them in order to gain the feeling ofpower and self-worth. People with low self-esteem need respect from others, andmay feel the need to seek this respect in any way possible. The highest levelin the pyramid is self-actualization.

This refers to what a person’s potentialentails and what he can truly become. This is something that people shouldunderstand instead of focusing on gaining self-esteem through body shamingothers. With that in mind, technology has greatly affected many of what Maslowmight have thought of before and can be seen through social media today.      Impact onSociety As mentioned previously, different societies havedifferent standards of beauty. Therefore, which bodies are acceptable varydepending on the country.

The psychology of an entire society can be affectedby who the people in control are. How celebrities portray themselves is howothers in society want to portray themselves. For example, if a model oractress has a slim body, then everyone that does not follow this ideal bodytype becomes body shamed. This can have a largely negative impact, especiallyon younger girls in school.

Girls in school compete with each other naturally,and giving them a reason to compete is body size/type. Girls will then sufferfrom insults and degradation by their peers.            Movies,TV shows, and news resources become affected by each other as the yearsprogress. One society may have a certain ideal of body image, however over timecertain movies or scenes on the television and internet can reshape what theybelieve is ideal.

The internet serves as a large source of body shaming sinceso many members of society contribute to it on social media platforms. Anexample of this would be when someone posts a picture of a peer on the internetin order to body shame them and others in their group contribute to insultingand degrading the victim. This causes major psychological problems for thevictims.

     SocialMedia’s effect on Psychology – Instagram                        Bodyimage dissatisfaction and the fear of being fat are two concerns that arisefrom body shaming. These issues are becoming more prominent in today’s societyas social media platforms are becoming more accessible to all. Research showsthat there is a link between media exposure and body dissatisfaction. Socialmedia platforms such as Instagram allow for access to plenty of idealized bodyimages. Models and celebrities posting pictures of themselves on Instagramcreate a false sense of what is acceptable as body standards. This causesplenty of people that do not fit these criteria to be body shamed and harassed.According to statistics, people aged between 16-24 are the most activeInstagram users.

This becomes a problem since at such a young age, they arevery easily manipulated and their psychology can be greatly affected.     Challengesput on social media platforms             Throughoutthe years, many challenges have emerged on social media to prove beauty. Someof these challenges include the collarbone challenge, bellybutton challenge,Kylie Jenner lip challenge, Thigh-gap challenge, and the finger trap challenge.            Thecollarbone challenge was in China, where thousands of women uploaded picturesof themselves holding coins on their collarbones. According to the social mediachallenge, the more coins that the women could stack on their collarbones, themore attractive they were.            Thebellybutton challenge involved women being able to touch their bellybutton byputting their arm around their back. If they were able to do this, they weredeemed beautiful by the challenge and as having the perfect figure.

            TheKylie Jenner lip challenge involved many people attempting to replicate thefamous celebrity’s lips using suction methods. This was viral on social mediaand lead to many people causing damage to their lips.            Thethigh-gap challenge was one where if there was a gap between the thighs of  a woman, then she is more attractive. Thebigger the gap, the more attractive she is. Finally, the finger trap challengeinvolved women in China putting their index finger on their chin and seeing ifit touches their nose. If so, then they were considered beautiful.            Allof these challenges are examples of how social media can have an effect on bodyimage and can in turn create large problems in society for people who do notfit to these unrealistic standards.                Effect on Teenagers                        Asmentioned above, The age group in which body shaming is mostly affectingpsychology is around the teenage years.

Cyberbullies use body shaming to targetmen and women who do not meet the standards of beauty in their society. Bodyshaming has a hugely negative effect on teenagers and can cause mental problemsand disorders. Since teenagers are at a time where they are shaping their livesand what others think is very important to them, they are increasinglyvulnerable to body shaming caused by bullies in their society. Since socialmedia displays that being thin for women, and muscular and fit for men is theideal standard, this causes teenagers to feel that they are unsatisfactory.Teenagers do not understand that some things are not in their control.

Forexample, women might be shamed for having small breasts or large thighs, and soon. However, many of these are genetically based and cannot be changedimmediately with a switch of a button. Teenagers are simply overly exposed tothese ideals and are not being taught or guided to think otherwise. The Concept of Beauty in the Eye of Social Media andSocialization             Socializationthrough             the internet hascaused unlimited public access to many people’s lives and daily routines.Cyberbullies now have a platform to publicly insult people while beinganonymous and inflicting damage without repercussions.

Although many societiesstill maintain certain ideals of body image, nowadays, the rise of social mediahas caused a more centralized image of what it means to be beautiful. Forexample, a culture that embraces being over-weight, may now change due toaccess to social media as the younger generations view what the western worldshows and reflects upon that. Common Consequences of social media’s body standards             Mediahas a large role in creating a negative body image among individuals. This hasconsequences, including body dissatisfaction, mental health problems, as wellas eating disorders. Research shows that females who are exposed to beautystandards on social media were more dissatisfied with their bodies than femaleswho weren’t. Many of these media outlets emphasize on the women’s physical characteristicssuch as face or bone structure, or clothing.

Instead of focusing onintelligence, this focus on physical characteristics causes women who are notfitting the standards to feel dissatisfied with their bodies. These mediaoutlets create a sense of comparison between the viewers and the people beingpresented by the media. The people viewing this information will strive and setgoals in order to achieve this body image that they assume is desired by theirsociety.            Eatingdisorders include anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia is when someone viewsthemselves as overweight and starve themselves from food. They truly believethat they are overweight even when looking at a mirror and always want to losemore weight. Bulimia is the act of forcefully throwing up food after eating inorder to prevent weight gain.

Bulimics feel that they can eat whatever theywant and then throw it up after in order to not gain weight. Both of theseeating disorders are very dangerous as they can cause many other problemsincluding death. Many people die yearly of anorexia and many others sufferinternal problems due to bulimic actions. Throwing up constantly causes damageto the throat and esophagus which can lead to many health complications.

Anythought of the person not being the “ideal” weight can cause them to continuethese eating disorders. This is largely found in younger people and especiallyfemales as they feel that their body figures aren’t satisfactory to societiesexpectations. Preventing body shaming                        Expressingtrue feelings instead of physical criticism can help reduce body shaming. Manypeople have problems expressing frustration without body shaming, thereforesome way of educating people on how to express themselves can go a long way. Achange in the media can help influence societal norms in order to prevent mental illnesses and food disorders. Thiswould also decrease bullying and body shaming caused in public environments.More regulation on the internet can also allow for less body shaming, such asremoving hateful comments on social media platforms.

Also following a rolemodel who is not afraid of how they look can serve as a great deterrent to theharm done by body shaming. There is always something someone can find in theirbody that they like and can embrace that in order to become more confident andavoid being hurt by body shaming. Conclusion                        Bodyshaming appeared due to societal norms. Without societies believing in acertain body shape as the most beautiful, there would be no body shaming.

Starting at a young age, children are told what it means to be beautiful byfamily and friends, and as they grow older they are exposed to media such astelevision and the internet. Social media has also taken a large role indefining physical beauty and has created many of today’s body shaming problems.Social media outlets such as Instagram allow for people to see what societyconsiders to be the most beautiful body type and thus try to conform to thenorms. This causes great stress on people that do not have the “perfect” bodysince they try much harder to fit into society. This has a large effect on thepsychology of the society as a whole.

Many are affected through mentalillnesses and eating disorders, as well as being exposed to many forms ofbullying. Many today are dissatisfied with the way they appear and would liketo change that. This is something that we should aim to change as a societythrough better influences on television and social media, as well as better parentingin order to help younger people appreciate their body no matter how it mayappear. 


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