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Societal Impacts on Your Mental and Physical Health

and Expectations of Appearances
The impact of social media on body image
The impact of social media on body image

All around the world society expects people, especially models, to have a perfect body and to limit their food intake. But the “perfect body” look is attained by avoiding eating for countless hours, and having a restricted food diet, causing mental and physical health issues.

Eating behaviour is strongly influenced by social media and what we see. If we’re eating in public, we eat less. By ourselves? We eat more. People, including models, are affected by this unspoken “rule”. 

 

According to Eating Disorder Hope, “Models struggle most with disorders that might lead to weight loss such as restricting food intake, excessive exercising…” Society’s view of models is skinny and pretty, but this bias can lead to restricting certain foods you eat, excessive exercising, to eating disorders. People (especially models) deal with all of this, because of social expectations and what people expect to see.

Society’s standards are cruel to humanity and can make people feel insecure. A middle schooler, Ella Rapanan, states, “I feel like society is judgemental towards people, including models. Pressuring people to fit social standards on how they should look is not okay.” 

Though most experts believe the percentage is higher, about 40% of models engage in disordered eating. Both societal impacts and judgements affect this. Anonymous states, “Stupid. You should love your own body. I think it’s sad and society is putting so much pressure on people.” 

Eating Disorder Hope states, “21% of models were told by their agency that they would stop representing them unless they lost weight.” Many models have had this experience and have been forced to sacrifice their health just to benefit their company and keep their jobs.

“More stories come out daily of models that are also victimized by the fashion industry, which pressures them to appear unrealistically and threatens their livelihood and career if they do not.” Not only does society judge models, and have a set standard for them,  but people’s jobs can threaten them too. 

 

Peer pressure can also have an impact towards people’s regular food diets and health. Other people pressuring them to eat less or giving rude comments can be affectful towards them. When our friends or the people surrounding us are eating or are on strict food diets, we sometimes feel inclined to do the same. It’s the same thing when other people think they should lose weight, it makes you feel you have to fit in with them. 

 

Official Social Star says, “We may feel pressured to adopt similar eating habits or diets, even if they may not be aligned with our own nutritional needs.” This peer influence can lead to unhealthy eating since your friend or the people around you might not have nutritional knowledge.

 

Not eating can lead to headaches, extreme hunger, tiredness, rapid heartbeats, and more. Because of this, it’s important to eat. Even if you might get fired, or people start criticising you, your health should come first. 54% of models are reported to be skipping meals. This can also lead to sudden weight loss, bad breath, weakness, and other symptoms that are harmful to your body. HealtifhyMe claims that trying to lose weight by not eating isn’t “a good idea”. Your metabolism gets slower when you don’t eat, putting the body in “survival mode”.The body preserves the energy to save up for later, possibly causing you to gain weight.

 

Overall, societal impacts on the types of food you eat and body expectations are not okay, but again, are part of everyone’s life, sadly. But of course, all this isn’t good or healthy for our physical and mental health. 9% of models are recommended to have plastic surgery, but altering your body or changing anything, for a fact, isn’t healthy nor original. You should love yourself the way you are. You should not have to reduce your body’s health just to please everyone else. Love yourself.

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  • S

    Sophia ¦ Feb 22, 2024 at 11:35 am

    This is so true. I experienced seeing my sister over eat and make her self throw up to fit because it was “cool” So this is really cool to see someone write about it.

    Reply
  • C

    Clara Bakkane ¦ Feb 22, 2024 at 11:34 am

    Good job! This is some great commentary on a pressing current issue! Very good cause, and a well-executed article. Nice work, Redi!

    Reply
  • E

    Ella ¦ Feb 22, 2024 at 11:33 am

    Thank you for writing this article Redi! I believe this should be spread and heard around so that people don’t feel pressured, or insecure, but feel more confident about who they are.

    Reply
  • Z

    zigzag ¦ Jan 4, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    personally i find myself eating too little. it definitely should be put out there that societal norms can really do a number on people’s mental state.

    Reply
  • L

    Lilah V. ¦ Dec 14, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    This is all so true Redi!! Thanks for taking your time to write this! I think everyone really needs to hear what you’ve said here nice job!

    Reply