Body Image: “My body image was never an issue until the rise of social media.”

When social media started to become popular, Prisha began to fixate on fitness creators and desired to change her body. She spoke to us about how it was the exposure to certain body type ideals online that influenced her behaviour of exercising in a regimented way to achieve a certain look, and it was once she took a step back that she realised what was online wasn’t always reality.

Trigger warning: This article mentions themes of disordered eating


Problems with my body image didn’t really affect me until I was in my early to mid-twenties. When I think back, I think this was due to the rise in popularity of social media around this time. I found I became more conscious of having the ‘perfect body’ and felt the need to be a certain weight. I began to be extremely conscious of what I ate and was doing exercises every single day. I was already an athletic person, so at first it appeared normal behaviour for me, but it was quickly becoming very strict and regimented, I would tell myself that I need to exercise a certain amount each day, especially Monday to Friday.

My fixation with online fitness creators grew and so did my strict clean eating habits. My family began to notice and raised their concerns. I decided to take a step back from social media and the patterns of my behaviour, and I felt better for doing so. I feel lucky that my family intervened when they did.

"I spent time on social media looking at the ‘fitness girls’ and somewhat aspiring to be like them."

– Prisha

On reflection, I think the exposure to social media and comparing myself to other women influenced how I behaved. I’m not sure how much tweaking and editing of imagery was going on back then, but I’m sure it existed, I just didn’t know it.

I’d like to see a rise in unfiltered, unedited photos. Brands should also aim to use models of all ages, shapes, sizes, skin types and ethnicities. I have an 8 year old niece and I already see how she is being sucked in to the unrealistic online world, it’s scary. I think it would also help if people speak up more about the issues they face and are honest about beauty enhancements and surgeries they undertake.

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