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The Source Of Our Misery: Body Trends And Social Media

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Most of us are familiar with the 52 micro-seasons of the fashion industry, where trends change weekly or even daily. But wait, have you heard about body trends? Yes, those challenges always trending on Instagram and TikTok. Wherein womxn (and only womxn) test if their bodies fit the benchmark for certain beauty standards.

Sure we can alter our clothes but how on earth are we supposed to alter our bodies keeping up with the trends? No one can shape their bodies as per the trends in a healthy way. Either you are lucky enough that your natural body trait is in trend or you go about looking for ways to change your body.

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Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay lohan’s bent walls via cosmopolitan

Some people go even as far as doing plastic surgeries, which are very common. I mean we all know what happened when Kylie Jenner got a lip job. Suddenly, big lips and lip fillers were in trend. And then comes the beloved photoshop option. Obviously, if nothing works out you can always edit your pictures which our darling celebrities have been caught doing so many times.

Lastly, come those people who do not at all obsess over these body trends, myself being one of them. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us. Sure, we don’t obsess over it because we know how unrealistic they are but we sure do feel bad about our bodies and end up losing confidence in ourselves.

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Instagram and body image

Instagram is supposed to be an inclusive space that promotes body positivity. But where is it? All I see are thin and tiny influencers sharing their fitness journeys, models with flawless skin and zero body fat. And oh how can we forget about the countless makeup tutorials.

There are body-positive posts as well but they all get covered up in the algorithm. So until you search for them you won’t see them, at least that’s what the case with my feed. And I’ll agree that it’s not completely Instagram’s fault. It does remove content encouraging eating disorders restricts content related to certain weight loss products and cosmetic procedures (it started doing so in 2019). It even displays a warning when you try to search for words like- thin, anorexia, bulimia etc.

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message Instagram displays when you try searching for words the encourage toxic behaviour. Clicking on the Get Support option takes you to a webpage with a list of resources to help you out.


According to Vox

“If you are a woman who spends time on social media, who maybe follows a few brands or influencers but for the most part people you’re connected to in real life, there is a good chance that Instagram thinks you are very concerned about your body. On the Explore page, where content is recommended based on users’ past engagement habits, women I’ve spoken to say they have noticed a significant increase in body-focused posts…”

via @monicaheisey, Twitter.

There’s no denying that there are a lot of influencers and activists out there on Instagram spreading body positivity. But we see very few of them on our discover feeds, thanks to AI. And although I know we’ve all heard it a million times but once again be comfortable in your skin. Don’t let social media dictate your life! lastly, here is a list of a few actual body-positive influencers on Instagram you might want to follow:

body positivity Neha Parulkar via Instagram


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