What’s Happening In The World Of Beauty?


Thinspo is a word. Did you know its existence? Thinspo is an abbreviation for thinspiration.

Let’s look at the trends. Our beauty standards have gone global, and anyone we see on the internet with the “perfect body” can now be our inspiration. And that’s the scalability of social media that’s so scary.

Social media, especially apps like Instagram, seem to be placing a lot of value on curated pictures. Forget healthy eating, we are busy curating our food pics to post the best looking Instagram worthy meal. Forget going to the gym, we are discussing who wear the best workout outfit.

We seek validation from others in the form of likes, comments and followers. What we put on our plate, how we look, and where we travel to see the sunrise seem to determine our worth. And that’s a dangerous message to be sending to teens and young adults.



Comparison Traps:


1100 college students commit suicide every year in the US. High standards of life are brought about stupid comparison stories people tell themselves in their head. We only show case our highlight reel on the internet for everyone see. As a result we’re becoming performance and competition oriented, narcissistic, entitled, and obsessed about perfection.

For those already suffering with low self-esteem these perfectly curated images can act as triggers. And those before and after pictures of weight loss, perfect skin, and unrealistic makeup transformations can trigger an urge to follow along by any means necessary.

Read more HERE on the dangers of comparison traps and unrealistic standards. Click HERE.



What Is Bulimia Nervosa:


Bulimia nervosa is a condition where people eat abnormally large amounts of food, followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating, such as forced vomiting, excessive use of diuretics, fasting, or excessive exercise. This disease can result in significant health problems.

The indications that bulimia nervosa may be present include:
• Worn tooth enamel and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth
• Acid reflux disorder
• Chronically inflamed and sore throat
• Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
• Electrolyte imbalance

While people with anorexia are typically very thin, individuals with bulimia may be underweight, average weight, or overweight.

Other studies on Social Media Use And Eating Disorders:




What Is Orthorexia?


Often, we have clients explain to us that they do not feel they have an eating disorder, but rather just choose to “eat clean.” The term “orthorexia” has recently become more popular as the trend of “clean eating” has evolved. Orthorexia is a term that was coined in 1998 and means an unhealthy obsession with “proper” or healthy eating. The clean-eating trend, which can be closely interchanged with orthorexia, goes in direct opposition to the nutrition philosophy, All Foods Fit, and can be highly detrimental to an individual’s eating disorder recovery.

Below are some of the warning signs and symptoms of orthorexia:

• Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels
• An increase in concern about the health of ingredients
• Cutting out an increasing number of food groups (all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat, all animal products)
• An inability to eat anything but a narrow group of foods deemed ‘healthy’ or ‘pure’
• Unusual interest in the health of what others are eating
• Spending hours per day thinking about what food might be served at upcoming events
• Showing high levels of distress when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ foods aren’t available
• An obsessive following of food and ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on social media
• Body image concerns may or may not be present

SOURCE: https://www.magnoliacreek.com/resources/blog/what-is-orthorexia/



Social Media and Body Image Concerns:


“Before social media’s explosion in popularity in the 2010s, teens had just a handful of moments each week where they compared their bodies directly to their peers’: in the locker room or at the pool during P.E. or sports practice. Today’s constant onslaught of perfectly-edited images on social media feeds has changed that.

A 2016 study found a strong link between consistent social media use and negative body image issues including dieting, self-objectification, and body surveillance. Interestingly, the data showed that exposure to one’s own social media account did not negatively impact body image, suggesting that the problem largely lies in the comparison factor that goes along with scrolling through social media feeds.”

SOURCE: Jasmine Fardouly, Lenny R. Vartanian; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.09.005



The Problem Of Pro-Eating Disorder Communities:


“Taken to the extreme, many social media users have also been guided to dangerous pro-eating disorder communities, corners of the internet where users actively encourage and shame each other into unhealthy or even life-threatening weight loss.

Pro-eating disorder communities have had a long history on the internet. As early as 2001, Yahoo removed 113 pro-anorexia websites from its servers. After a Huffington Post exposé on “thinspiration” blogs on Tumblr, the platform took action against a cluster of pro-eating disorder blogs. And decades after the problem first surfaced, social media continues to struggle with the same problem. Over the last few years, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and more faced criticism for failing to address pro-eating disorder content and search terms on their platforms. Communities of eating disorder enthusiasts have been found on Twitter, Discord, Snapchat and more.

To be clear, social media usage is not the cause of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. However, there is no question that there is a link between eating disorders and social media use, particularly in the development and perpetuation of body image issues.”

SOURCE: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2022/02/24/how-do-we-solve-social-medias-eating-disorder-problem/



Social Comparison and Eating Disorders:


A great article on the rise of social media use and eating disorders, and what we can do about it.

Read it HERE.



Snapchat’s “Here For You”:


Snapchat, a popular social media company recently launched a new tool called: “Here For You.” The idea is to connect people who are searching for topics like depression, anxiety and thinspo with helpful content written by mental health experts.





Eating Disorder Help:



(800) 931-2237
Monday—Thursday 11am—9pm ET
Friday 11am—5pm ET
Translation services are available on the phone.

(800) 931-2237
Monday—Thursday 3pm—6pm ET
Friday 1pm—5pm ET
Standard text messaging rates may apply.

Other Important Resources:

Find them HERE.


* * *


About The Article Author:

Our mission with FutureSTRONG Academy – to grow children who respect themselves, their time and their capabilities in a world where distractions are just a click or a swipe away.

I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.

Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.

Rachana Nadella-Somayajula,
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents

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