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Body Image and Social Media- Quoted in

Quoted in on Body shaming, Ideal Body Image and the Role played by social Media.

1st April, 2021

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Dr. Nahid Dave, a consultant psychiatrist shares valuable tips on how one can overcome these problems and avoid falling in such traps.

Social media, says Dr. Dave, is a platform for us to get connected and to communicate. It gives us the information of the whereabouts of the peers and acquaintances and shows us the various milestones of their life that they have achieved. Social media brings out role models very close to us. It helps us drop battles between their virtual life and our real life. The daily dose of updates that we get about our role models, influences, friends, families and colleagues keeps us hooked to the advertisement as the basic design is such that the people get inclined towards wanting more of it. There is some form of novelty always attached to it which is merely impossible to get in our everyday lives.

“The major issue is that the youth get easily affected with what they see on social media and what is being portrayed as the ideal or one can say the default functioning of a human being. It is very important to understand the difference between real life and virtual life, for example if you think of your own life, your one post on instagram or facebook could be really different from what is going on in your real life. It is important to limit your screen time. Even if you spend hours on your mobile it is important to introspect and understand about what you’re spending their time on,” says Dr. Dave.

Dr. Dave further adds, “Social media often tries to draw a direct relationship between beauty, perfection and happiness. Beauty is defined by fairness, lean models, perfect outfits, and stereotype fats as unattractive. It has become really common for us to compliment or comment on someone’s height, body weight complexion and dressing sense when we meet them, it has become a part of who you are. They also decide about their mental state depending on their looks. Although there is a growing trend of influencers who try to bring the change of accepting all bodies but the damage done by the ideal type or perfection is still deeper. Every few years our perspective changes depending on the movies we watch, the people we meet and the books we read. Even a small bit of change impacts the us in some or the other way. Having the perfect picture, the perfect filter and the perfect camera angle plays a very detrimental effect on the body image of the majority of the people.”

“Body positivity influencers may contribute in lessening the gap between help develop the level of acceptance but this is not an absolute solution. Self-accepting is more internal and external. There are always going to be ample issues to pull you down. Till I don’t love myself I won’t be able allow myself to love anyone else pr be worthy of love. My happiness will always depend on external factors. Body positivity influencers can really help people see themselves in different light. There are various factors that play when a person talks about the body image. It starts from the family itself, when your relatives, aunts and comments or looked at me made me feel I was lesser about myself. Self-acceptance is a journey but a possible one,” says Dr. Dave.

In order to inculcate self love she adds, “Make a note of things that you like about yourself, it is difficult for you to write, ask a friend what they like about you and surround yourself with people is extremely important, the kind of energy is important that you carry around you. Whether they accept you as just the way you are or are or constantly asking for changes in you. Getting high after a great workout is far better than getting a high after eating a chocolate bar. Endorphins released after an exercise is much better and hence use a friend analogy, whenever you think you are being mean to yourself ask yourself what advice you would give yourself. Learn to see things from another perspective as if you are your own friend. All the strengths that you have are going to create opportunities and my happiness is not dependent on external factors.’

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