A survey conducted by health and fitness company, Origym comprises more than 2000 people in the UK confirms that social media negatively affects body image.
The survey claims to have found that unrealistic expectations about how you should look, encouraged by the “picture perfect culture” on social media is affecting the mental health of one in 10 men.
Psychologist Rob Willson from the Body Dysmorphic Foundation is reported to have said, “There’s lots of pressure from social media to try to conform to certain stereotypes of an idealised beauty and particularly in men.
“This is a real challenge because we’re a bit less used to it than women are, we’re more recently exposed to these kinds of pressures and regretfully women have been exposed for a lot longer but also there’s very little movement at the moment against pressure on men.”
Based on a report that was carried in Sky News, 26-year-old George Mycock, from Staffordshire had developed a condition called muscle dysmorphia as a teenager, which leads people to think that they are less muscular than they really are.
According to George who runs MyoMinds to raise awareness regarding these issues, social media is the “devil” in these situations.
Speaking about the influence of social media on negative body image and the dangerous path it can lead you to, he is quoted as saying, “I think it does play a huge part – it’s very easy to get engrossed in an echo chamber, you follow the people who agree with your extreme thoughts and they show you more extreme thoughts and it starts spiralling out of control.”
He adds, “I got into the fitness industry, the fitness industry community, and I saw all the guys in that were big, muscular, covered in veins, six packs, that stuff, and I thought that’s what I needed to adhere to.
“That pursuit came from there and that’s when I took on disordered eating, exercise addiction, training ‘x’ amount of times, being incredibly restrictive how I ate. Eventually it led to suicidal behaviours, suicidal ideations, it led down this dark path.”
It is estimated that there are 3,6 users of social media worldwide and it is now a large part of today’s culture. Speaking about how social media can sabotage your body image, the Insider had reported that consistently scrolling through posts, particularly images that evoke negative feelings or elevate a certain body type, can impact how you perceive yourself.
The report adds that because social media is filled with people who only present themselves in their best light – it becomes difficult to evade the posts and images that might make you see your body in a negative way.
The findings of the survey reveal that more than 40% of men in Britain want to build muscle and one in 10 wants steroids to build and transform their body.
In an earlier report, Dr John Skevofilax, chief of Surgery for Signature Clinic in the UK had warned that men are abusing steroids and this can lead to breast growth. As, a result he is reportedly performing hundreds of breast reduction surgeries on men.
He attributes this craze for steroids to shows like Love Island, which is a British dating game show. He is quoted as saying, “If you turn it on, every guy on there has a six pack, his chest is out to here, pecs and everything are blowing out of their shirts, so guys are seeing this and they want to emulate their heroes just like in the eighties when it was Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.”