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Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects

Abstract

The purpose of the study entails examining social media’s impacts on the body of young women. The survey used college women to conduct social media effects on their mentality and physique. This research analogy has an exploratory investigation on social media’s impact on mental wellbeing and physical satisfaction. The participants in the research use Instagram and Facebook regularly; the same participants had lower body satisfaction than women with everyday social media use. According to the study, women who use social media have created a path whereby they engage in a maladaptive comparison of the body outlook, affecting their mental stability. This adaptation has created the need for health communication for the ladies to have behavioral change interventions. The issues that need to be addressed cover the more significant percentage of the population globally.

Introduction

Young women in the US are affected by their eating disorders hence causing mental health issues within the US. The prevalence of eating disorders amongst young women has given particular attention that the underlying process has posed various risk factors (Easton et al., 2018). The condition posed mental and physical outlooks, and whenever such people start struggling to reverse their eating process, they become mentally unfit. Eating disorders have the highest prevalence of premature death emanating from natural and unnatural causes. For instance, people with anorexia nervosa can potentially develop endocrine abnormalities, cardiovascular problems, and pulmonary issues. Adolescents create the risk of having cardiovascular symptoms, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and chronic pains. Therefore, it is fundamental for practitioners to reduce the chances of developing the disorders.

For young adolescents and women to be saved from such risk factors, it is necessary to understand their idealism. It is the idealism that makes the individuals get themselves into risky behaviors. Negative subjective evaluation and body dissatisfaction in weight and shape are consistent predictors of things that matter to females (Allen & Celestino, 2018). The US and other western cultures have reported that body dissatisfaction has made many women and young girls engage in risky behaviors. Statistically, about 27% of women in the US have reportedly felt that their overall appearance is unsatisfactory. The factors of not accepting oneself lower the self-esteem of women. Many women think having a thin body makes them look like a model. Social Medias have made many women feel like they need to re-shape their appearance. So long as people eat, they are prone to weight changes, hence the need to pave insights to reduce their negative influences. The research investigates social media effects on women mentality and physicality. The investigation cuts across college users because they are most affected by the kind physique they present to the public.

Literature Review

Scholars posit that normative discontent is prevalent in US women, hence being dissatisfied with their general appearance. For instance, more women are dissatisfied with their eating habits and body shape as compared to men. The dissatisfaction level increases when women are in college (Mills et al., 2018). The rate at which college women are addicted to social media influences their mental body shaming and appearance anxiety. Image disturbance and eating disorder developmental and body effects.

Objectification theory

According to objectification theory, the use of Facebook and Instagram has enabled every woman set their standards. These standards differs and it makes the women that cannot fit in to have negative societal outlook. The objectification of females in Facebook or Instagram can change their mindset about how they view their image (Marengo et al., 2018). The phenomenon is referred to as the objective body consciousness (OBC). OBC makes women engage in body surveillance and be culturally accepted in society. When society judges them negatively, they become obsessed with the fact that society thinks they have discrepancies. Body shaming makes women negativities such as eating disorders, depressed mood, and lowered self-esteem.

Physical image and mass media

Objectification theory results in sociocultural complexity whereby women live in mass media to promote an ideal thin body. The correlation and many experiments link thinness to someone with the desired body that is mentally and ethically accepted by society. The investment in appearance has endorsed that disordered eating modes are a symptomatology drive for thinness. The socioecological theory posits that is after wrong eating behavior amongst women (Viner et al., 2019). According to the idea, social influences negatively affect body images in terms of thin-ideal and comparison from the social media. Feminist theory changes women’s mindset into characterizing their appearance to be more important than their ideological abilities. It also makes them believe that social media is their litmus because it sets the standards to be followed.

Idealism in outlook versus realism

Body appearance has been made in comparison with the societal norm. Society keeps changing, and body image cannot change continually; it is impossible. However, various researchers have found women to have idealism of how they expect to look while forgetting the realism behind their actual appearance. The major contributing factor to this hypothesis is the fact that women glorify things found online (Slater et al., 2019). They never verify if, indeed, everyone loves what the projected idealism is. Some pictures posted on Facebook or Instagram have undergone massive edits to make it fine. The comparison makes it unfair that some young women still want to look like the edited pictures. Photoshop and filters create distorted fantasy, and it affects the mentality of young women (Thorisdottir et al., 2019). Another aspect is fitspo; the component that makes women think being thin is the ultimate success of having massive followings. Fundamentally, women are taught about the realism of life and forget about the idealism contained among people who judge others.

Hypotheses

This research examines the relationship between motivational factors emanating from social media, body comparison, and body esteem. The study utilizes social media as a new channel that affects an individual’s physical outlook and mental wellness. Body tendency comparison among young women is usually correlated with the esteem of an individual. Equally, body tendency positively correlates with the positivity found in social media (Butkowski et al., 2019). For instance, the types of images found in Facebook as a mass media have asserted a more diverse body representation. When someone posts their full-body image, it is prone to get more feedback than a portrait photo (Gordon et al., 2020). Full-sized pictures make it easier for the general population to scrutinize and post feedbacks for people. Based on the feedback, a young woman will take the negative ones seriously and ignore the positive vibes, affecting her physical esteem and disorienting their mental peace.

Method

Participants and procedure followed

The participants were women from college, and they enrolled in psychology courses within the US. The college women posed relevance because they spent most of their time on Facebook and Instagram. The women in college had funny eating habits because they had freedom. Therefore, they are the best population for the eating disorder analysis. The young women were aged between 18 and 19, and through informed consent, data were collected from their laptops. The participants took part in doing a survey whereby they sent their report every evening for nine days. Using the Qualtrics survey, respondents were instructed to take their surveys every night based on their mood and experiences within the last 24 hours.

Study Design

The essential data was their demographic data such as age, sexual orientation, and race. Body comparison tendency was assessed using the body comparison orientation scale, exercise comparison orientation scale, and eating habits. The sample of the question include “how often do you compare yourself with other peers,” How good is my body in terms of size,” and “based on your gauging, how do you think your peers see your body size.” The structured questions were asked in a metrical analogy of 1 to 7, with seven meaning always and one meaning never or no. the scale analysis has a strong capability of enabling an individual being interviewed to open up and participate to the best of their ability. Each member that participated had a calculative mean score to compare their tendency score and idealistic analogy. The adolescents were scrutinized for their body esteem, and the point scale was from 1 to 5. The research used the past six months of the interviewee’s appearance scale to gauge their experiences based on weight.

Data analysis procedure

The use of social media in gauging body comparison and self-esteem of young women was mediated through each individuals’ comparison tendency. To effectively gauge the social media platform, the subject group was dichotomized into two groups. A high group used social media frequently, and there was a low group that rarely used the media. The groups were combined according to the average number of logins attempted in a day in Facebook and Instagram. The data analysis was used in the small-sized group because the group contained a small sample of an individual. The users were coded for nine days, and a series of independent tests were issued to them. The test was to analyze the average body satisfaction amongst social media users and non-users.

Results

The survey was conducted from participants that completed the nine days. The average score within the nine days indicated that most young women felt confident before posting a picture and then felt discouraged after reading the comments on social media. Facebook and Instagram was popular than snapchat and twitter combined. To some respondent, Facebook and Twitter had more user globally with advanced features that attracted its users. On average, the whole group spent 8 hours a day in those sites. The social media users inversely vary with their body satisfaction index. The satisfaction score increased during the weekend. Since most of the sampled young women were students, they had more time during the weekends than on weekdays.

Results/Discussion

The findings concur with the tripartite influence model and social-ecological theory. The body comparison, when gauged with the body esteem displayed as much as the study was correlational, it allows for causal claims to support the theoretical model and other related researches. The results second that most women engage in body comparisons, making their lives have a mental breakdown and low self-esteem. Many young people use social media, and the sites have created pressure amongst young peers who want to fit in the social setup (Lee & Choi, 2018). Many women are constantly engaging in body comparisons online and hoping for the best outcomes. The utilization of social media has adverse consequences in terms of engaging in maladaptive body comparison. Everyone s perfect in their own ways, comparisons will magnify the defects that an individual has and make it affect their mindset.

Other researchers have researched on persona traits such as information seeking, entertainment, and personal utility. The study of social media’s impact on young women is the first one to be done. The mediation between comparisons and self-esteem is a major actor that even healthcare practitioners have realized affects their patients. The study did not measure the frequency used in measuring comparative behaviors. However, social media is ubiquitous, and it motivates the ease of engaging in further studies. Different social media contain different levels of engaging in body comparison. For instance, Twitter has a low rate of body comparison as compared to Instagram and Facebook. This is because Twitter is known for information and insight provisions. The restrictions in Twitter are so much to the extent that an individual must create a hashtag or follow back someone to be gauged.

According to the study, the users who spent more time on Facebook felt that their hair, face, or skin-related dissatisfaction due to the comments people posted. Facebook users reported the most significant correlation in body satisfaction. The satisfaction was lower when young women were involved in the analytics. It means that even an hour daily can cause harm to social media users. Therefore, as much as social media image is crucial for people, they need to be advised on the best way of evading mental scrutiny. It is unhealthy to the mental health of everyone when they know they do not meet the set target according to beauty idealisms set in social media. It is essential to encourage women with low self-esteem to reduce social media usage because they become affected easily by peoples’ comment (Lee & Choi, 2018). It is better to engage in physical, social activities than to spend time online to compare oneself with others.

Limitations and futuristic research

The functionality of social media is advancing, and some trends are continually being incorporated. Each day opens the chance for new channels to be introduced. Therefore, it is fundamental for the study to be examined periodically for it to remain relevant. The environmental outlook changes, and researchers should ensure that they update their research matrix. In addition, the current society has incorporated even the adults into social media usage. Samples of future research should focus on older people and examine how their mental and physical spectrum is affected by social media. One of the study’s limitations is that it never examined the motivation behind users’ influence to post their pictures and wait for feedback. Equally, it was conducted to users that are engaged in social media. Future research should incorporate the valence feedback and negative lamenters in finding their motives behind substantiating other people’s pictures.

Conclusion

The usage of social media usage amongst young women is alarming. The constant use makes the users have various effects that affect their ideological views about their bodies. Social media for news updates and comedy views can be an appropriate form of indulging in positivity or mental refreshment. Young women and other stakeholders have raised a concern because online life has impacted their mental wellbeing and physical outlook. According to the study, the overall time spent online has made an impact. The impact ranges from body image disorientation and disordered eating behavior.

It is time for the globe to embrace better social media usage. The initial creation of such platforms was to enable people to link up and get positive feedback. For instance, Facebook was designed to connect family members, friends, and schoolmates. As time passed, many of the original ideologies of creating the platform has made it revolutionized. To some, they use social media to con and catfish. At the same time, others use the platform to make people feel jealous of their lifestyle. Whenever young women change the usage of Instagram and Facebook to compare their physique, it changes the metrical existence of social media to the society. For example, some women post pictures to set the pace for other women to dress and look good. Other women post pictures to raise their self-esteem but end up being crashed in the comment section. The standard functionality should be advocated for and reduce the stigma of people’s physical orientation.

The time spent should be reduced and more time created for physical occasions amongst adolescents. People assume that it is normal to be online and carry the regular house chores. It is better health-wise to engage in physical activities to reduce the chance of getting healthcare diseases. Therefore, young women should utilize their time well to reduce the possibility of feeling low due to online body shaming and mental re-configuration from online users.

References

Allen, M., & Celestino, S. (2018). Body image mediates an association between personality and mental health. Australian Journal of Psychology, 70(2), 179-185. Web.

Butkowski, C., Dixon, T., & Weeks, K. (2019). Body Surveillance on Instagram: Examining the Role of Selfie Feedback Investment in Young Adult Women’s Body Image Concerns. Sex Roles, 81(5-6), 385-397. Web.

Easton, S., Morton, K., Tappy, Z., Francis, D., & Dennison, L. (2018). Young People’s Experiences of Viewing the Fitspiration Social Media Trend: Qualitative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20(6), e219. Web.

Gordon, C., Rodgers, R., Slater, A., McLean, S., Jarman, H., & Paxton, S. (2020). A cluster randomized controlled trial of the SoMe social media literacy body image and wellbeing program for adolescent boys and girls: Study protocol. Body Image, 33, 27-37. Web.

Lee, J., & Choi, Y. (2018). Informed public against false rumor in the social media era: Focusing on social media dependency. Telematics and Informatics, 35(5), 1071-1081. Web.

Marengo, D., Longobardi, C., Fabris, M., & Settanni, M. (2018). Highly-visual social media and internalizing symptoms in adolescence: The mediating role of body image concerns. Computers in Human Behavior, 82, 63-69. Web.

Mills, J., Musto, S., Williams, L., & Tiggemann, M. (2018). “Selfie” harm: Effects on mood and body image in young women. Body Image, 27, 86-92. Web.

Slater, A., Cole, N., & Fardouly, J. (2019). The effect of exposure to parodies of thin-ideal images on young women’s body image and mood. Body Image, 29, 82-89. Web.

Thorisdottir, I., Sigurvinsdottir, R., Asgeirsdottir, B., Allegrante, J., & Sigfusdottir, I. (2019). Active and Passive Social Media Use and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depressed Mood among Icelandic Adolescents. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22(8), 535-542. Web.

Viner, R., Gireesh, A., Stiglic, N., Hudson, L., Goddings, A., Ward, J., & Nicholls, D. (2019). Roles of cyberbullying, sleep, and physical activity in mediating the effects of social media use on mental health and wellbeing among young people in England: a secondary analysis of longitudinal data. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 3(10), 685-696. Web.

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StudyKraken. (2022, November 20). Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects. Retrieved from https://studykraken.com/womens-mentality-and-physicality-the-social-media-effects/

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StudyKraken. (2022, November 20). Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects. https://studykraken.com/womens-mentality-and-physicality-the-social-media-effects/

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"Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects." StudyKraken, 20 Nov. 2022, studykraken.com/womens-mentality-and-physicality-the-social-media-effects/.

1. StudyKraken. "Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects." November 20, 2022. https://studykraken.com/womens-mentality-and-physicality-the-social-media-effects/.


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StudyKraken. "Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects." November 20, 2022. https://studykraken.com/womens-mentality-and-physicality-the-social-media-effects/.

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StudyKraken. 2022. "Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects." November 20, 2022. https://studykraken.com/womens-mentality-and-physicality-the-social-media-effects/.

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StudyKraken. (2022) 'Women’s Mentality and Physicality: The Social Media Effects'. 20 November.

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