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Eating Disorders

No matter where you look on social media platforms, you can find that eating disorders are being glorified whether it’s on TikTok, Instagram or Facebook. Even though there have been strides made towards body positivity, eating disorders are not a thing of the past just yet. One of the main problems with eating disorders is that some people do not know they have them. Diet culture has become so toxic, that differentiating a diet and an eating disorder is a very thin line. Influencers have played a huge role in disordered eating through their content whether they realize it or not. It’s crucial that people who are consuming this content, especially females, are educated about eating disorders.

Eating disorders affect women, men, and children of all ages. Typically, we consume media that makes us feel we have to look a certain way. It makes us feel as if we need to have the “ideal body” in order to be seen as attractive in today’s society. However, there is no such thing as the “perfect” body. Every single body is different and unique in its own way, which is what makes us who we are. Society creating this idea that there is a “perfect” body is extremely toxic and the reason why there are various eating disorders.

Eating disorders are more than just the consumption of food. It is a mental health condition that is extremely exhausting and controlling. This can be through obsessing over counting calories, not eating enough food, and/or extensively working out for multiple hours in one day. A lot of times what is happening is that the person has a fear of being overweight, so they try to control the food they are putting into their body in an excessive way. There are healthy ways to lose weight that are not disordered eating.

With the media controlling the image of what is the “perfect” body, there are a lot of triggers for disordered eating on social media. “Thinspo” is a term that has been used for the past decade to promote a certain body type through eating disorders, which ultimately means “thin inspiration.” When we go online, there are thousands of pictures of influencers promoting the “ideal” body. Whether it’s through photos, “What I Eat in A Day’’ posts, or one size fits all clothing, influencers can unknowingly promote eating disorders. It’s important to be aware of this and to spread healthy eating and body positivity.

No matter how much body positivity we try to spread, there will always be the toxic culture around dieting and eating disorders. Health looks different for every individual person and it is important for influencers to recognize this. As a community, we need to acknowledge the content we pay attention to and consume. What may seem like a harmless photo or video, might be promoting disordered eating. It is important to spread awareness about these disorders and create healthy eating habits.


PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University