Chapter 7

Empower and educate

A “toxic mirror”. That’s how Time magazine described the effect social media can have on teen self-esteem and body confidence.1 In a 2016 article, it cited academic research that found “robust cross-cultural evidence linking social media use to body image concerns, dieting, body surveillance, a drive for thinness and self-objectification in adolescents.”2

Women have long been influenced by unrealistic ideals of body image of course. The “cult of thin” perpetuated by the fashion and beauty industry and slavishly promoted by lifestyle media has been an undermining influence for many decades but, as with many other aspects of life, the arrival of social media has exacerbated those trends and influences.

Confronted with ...

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