We need to talk about body positivity among students

Social media can be toxic

Social media is fast growing and revolutionising the world of media, which is brilliant of course, but it does have it's negatives.

There is one big issue circling around social media at the moment, and that's body shaming.

The most prevalent form of body shaming takes place on celebrities' Instagram pages. The hurtful comments are appalling; just because they are famous does not mean they deserve such hate; they have feelings too.

Social media is hugely influential and it should be used to spread more body positivity; especially for young impressionable boys and girls. We should use the internet's wide audience in a positive way.

We are constantly looking up to edited unrealistic images for body image goals. Nobody really looks like that, not even the model. This is something the media has drilled into our heads, telling us we aren't ‘perfect.'  

To get an outlook of how young men and women feel about the subject, The Tab asked three students how they stay positive in their own skin with unrealistic body goals being such a big thing in the media.

Phoebe Hopkinson, a 19-year-old English Literature and Language student from Sheffield, said: "I definitely struggled with it when I was younger but I've learnt to ignore it.

"I continuously tell myself that everyone is different and we can't all look the same. It would be boring if we were all clones of each other.

"I try to focus on things I do like about myself rather than the things I don't like."

It's really important to get a male perspective on body image as well, because often this subject can be stereotyped as a 'woman's problem'.

David Marriot, an 18-year-old journalism student from West Sussex said: "I try to stay realistic in that I accept myself for what I look like; I don't try and be something I am not. Whenever I see male models paraded on social media and TV I remember that I am just as much a person as they are."

It would be great to see a campaign showcasing men and women of all different shapes and sizes to show there's no such thing as 'the perfect body.' Let's embrace individuality and diversity. Stretch marks, blemishes, wrinkles, scars – we all have some sign of them. We're human and they make you who you are.

Remember, before you start looking into magazines or forever comparing yourself to an image, that the chances are that the models won't even look like that.

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The amount of editing that goes into one image is unreal. It makes the model an unrealistic role model to impressionable young men and women.

Making a positive change can be as small as telling your friends one feature that is beautiful about them. This can be a massive confidence booster and really make them feel worth it.

Don't let unrealistic expectations get in your way of happiness you are your own person. Be whoever you want to be.