Sara Conde is in her fourth year at Ryerson University graduating with a BA in Professional Communication and a minor in Public Relations. Throughout her years at Ryerson, internship experiences and conversations with peers, Sara developed an interest in body image and diets and the relation it has to social media. Sara’s post-graduation plan is to attend a post-graduate program in Digital Marketing at George Brown College and gain as much experience as she can over the summer. Sara hopes to work in the health & wellness industry as a social media or marketing leader in the future.
The purpose of this research is to study the challenges that social media imposes and examine how fad diets and influencers are affecting the body image and eating disorders of users. Many young adult social media users, specifically females, are trapped by the media’s influence to desire the ideal body type. Rather than gaining confidence and comfort, they risk developing eating disorders and body image issues. So far, my findings do present a high influence of social media on users’ body image and eating disorders. My quantitative analysis shows high numbers of respondents affected by social media. The majority of respondents also experience a neutral and negative experience on social media. The participants in my qualitative study present similar findings where the underlying common theme is how Instagram and influencers have shifted their self-image and eating habits.
Social media, influencers, Instagram, body image, diet, fad diets, eating disorders