Social media trends should be new food recipes not women’s bodies

Influencer @breeelenehan who debunks how social media can be misleading.

Influencer @breeelenehan who debunks how social media can be misleading.

Sasha Zahler, Columnist

Social media usage is at an all time high, providing unlimited trends. Whether that trend is a new makeup product, a way to style your hair, or what drink to order at Starbucks, some of them are generally harmless. However, there are also trends that aren’t so innocent, specifically the constant change in the “accepted” women’s body type.

In the ’90s, body image issues were present with famous women like Kate Moss, Pamela Anderson and Naomi Campbell. If you didn’t look like these women-which was unrealistically thin- then you were not attractive.These women were also huge sex symbols, but what was not discussed was the serious drug issues that these women faced in order to maintain their body. Instead the tabloids focused on how they were the people that young women should admire.

In the early 2000s body image and eating disorder issues skyrocketed. “Heroin Chic” was the in-body trend– meaning that women’s bodies were so thin that it looked as if they were on drugs. This phrase was considered to be a compliment and people enjoyed hearing this.

Icons of the 2000s, like Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears were all extremely thin women. They have later come out and said that they were suffering from other issues, such as drug abuse-specifically cocaine- and eating disorders. The amount of fame that these women had created a huge influence on young girls. Low rise jeans and baby tees were in, and if you didn’t look like the pictures in the magazine then you weren’t attractive.

Currently there is a trend on Tiktok with an audio of a man reading a tabloid that says, “She has plenty of drug problems and dated some questionable men, she’s been blamed for promoting anorexia and heroin use, and her name nicknames include Cocaine Kate and Kate Mess, she is Kate Moss.” This sound by @5punk5tain went viral on Tiktok with 31.2k videos made. This audio is extremely harmful because the narrator of this sound is proud of this introduction and is speaking as if all of these descriptions are cool and trendy. This sound is not monetized and can be openly used on Tiktok. The glorification of eating disorders and drug use is being presented as a sound to create fun videos.

So why are women’s bodies trends? It’s not like a haircut where people have the full ability to change their hair and make it unrecognizable. A woman’s body is not interchangeable, and a slimmer body becoming trendy will eventually promote self hate. Even though you can lose or gain weight, your body is made up of bones and each person is different. You can take two people that are the same weight and height and there is a large chance that they can still look completely different.

If women have to fit into a societal construct of what makes them beautiful then it is implying that a woman’s beauty and identity does not belong to them. This expectation teaches all ages of women, especially young impressionable women that they should be judging themselves off of the way society views them.

The general population will unfortunately not stop using social media. So it’s important that individuals are giving platforms to people that deserve it and are willing to have an open conversation about body image and produce unedited authentic content. For example, an influencer that debunks how social media can be unrealistic is @breeelenehan. Her typical content consists of side to side photos representing how angles and clothing can change the way someone’s body looks. This is an example of an amazing content creator because she is showing young people-specifically women-how social media can be misleading and that the body type she shows unedited is normal.

The idea that women’s bodies are a constantly changing trend is disgusting, disheartening and dangerous to women everywhere. Women are not dolls to be shaped and sized, they are human beings with emotions, intelligence and beauty that is constantly being challenged by society. Women are strong and can fight back, but it’s time that the constant scrutiny comes to an end and women are treated like humans instead of objects.