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Showing posts from April, 2020

What Role does Social Media play in Young People’s Perceptions of their Bodies?

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With millions of adolescents across the world currently in lockdown and more reliant on social media for interactions than ever, we revisit this post from Victoria Goodyear in 2018 on how social media plays into young people's self-perceptions, and the importance of adults understanding this.

Social media is often referred to as a ‘toxic’ or ‘dangerous’ environment for young people, particularly in the case of body image. Celebrity and/or advertising cultures, and increased exposure to vast amounts of unregulated content are commonly identified as ‘risky’ online practices (see Fardouly and Vartanian, 2016). Yet, the extent to which social media impacts on young people’s perceptions of their bodies is relatively unknown. There is little understanding of the types of content young people engage with, and how and why their knowledge and behaviours are influenced. 

To better understand how to support young people’s body image-related knowledge and behaviours, we need to learn from them …

Body Image in Lockdown

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In a world transformed by coronavirus, some people might think talking about body image is inappropriate. When our lives are stripped back and we are focused on survival, to think about measuring up in the beauty stakes is not OK for some, even morally wrong.
The virus has transformed all of our lives, but some people’s lives more than others. Many will be sick or grieving or in fear of their lives or their loved ones’ lives.
In the current circumstances, every day we find ourselves safe and well, we should feel exceptionally grateful. This change might continue for some, and as we come out of this crisis ,they might continue to value every day, and care far less about things they used to think mattered. We fullyrecognise this and are not speaking about body image because we think it is the most important issue for everyone right now.
But for some, it is an issue which is a continuing concern and one which is intensified in lockdown. Many, especially young people, are finding the press…