Do you scroll through Instagram and Facebook wondering how all those images of other people’s bodies – whether it’s a celebrity’s gym selfie or your friend’s holiday snap – could be affecting how you view your own appearance?
Both men and women of all ages report that social media has the biggest impact on how they feel about their bodies. Research suggests that time spent on social networking sites is associated with body image issues and disorders. 88% of women say they compare themselves to images in the media and half claim that they feel negatively affected by this. 65% of men compare themselves to images they see on social media, with 37% of them stating that the comparison is unfavourable.
What is Body Image?
Body image is how you see your physical self and the thoughts and emotions that result from this perception.
There are four important factors that can determine body image:
- How you perceive your body – perceptual
- How you feel about your body – affective
- How you think about you body image – cognitive
- How you behave as a result of your body image – behavioural
It is crucial to acknowledge that how you experience your body might not always reflect the actual reality. A distorted perception of your own body can manifest as body image distortions, which might result in anxiety, depression or eating disorders.
There has been a lot said about how mainstream media presents unrealistic beauty standards in the form of photoshopped celebrities or stick-thin fashion models. We now have another influence on how beauty is represented. With our feeds full of influencers, it’s easy to see that social media, too, can be a negative when it comes to body image.
And it’s not just about body shape: hair has transformed over the past decade. These days it seems as if one minute a celebrity has a messy bob, then a pixie cut and then, somehow, they have long golden tresses. Previously, this may have been attained by wearing a wig, however, nowadays, hair extensions are the solution many women are looking for to give them the versatility to change their hair styles on a whim.
Hair extensions rose in popularity during the 1990s. New, less expensive techniques were developed ensuring widespread popularity, with the clip-in hair extensions becoming commonly used due to their cost and availability. Again, during this time celebrities were influencing our hairstyles.
With celebrities on social media, such as the Kardashians, having different hairstyles at every event, we are emulating them and using hair extensions to change our styles.
Female Pattern Baldness
Hair loss for women can be a very emotive subject. Female pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. Similar to male pattern baldness, however, women can lose their hair in a different pattern than men.
However, hair loss in women is normal, especially as you age, with up to two-thirds of women experiencing hair loss after menopause.
In female pattern baldness, the hair’s growing phase slows down and takes longer for new hair to begin growing. Hair follicles shrink, leading the hair that does grow to be thinner and finer resulting in hair that breaks easily. However, there are cases when hair extensions may not be suitable. The hair may be unable to support the weight of the new hair extensions because it is too weak.
How can I make more permanent changes?
A more radical approach is sometimes needed to improve your hair and that’s where Enhance Hair Restoration can help.
If you require hair loss treatments for women, Enhance Hair Restoration provides an unrivalled service hroughout the UK. Female hair loss is a topic that not even the world’s most recognised beauty experts like to talk about. However, hair transplants for women are now available and becoming more popular. Leading doctors have realised that women who lose their hair have limited options, and that is why there needs to be a solution to focus on the specific needs of women.
It is a fact that one out of every three women experiences some form of hair loss, yet the idea of women losing their hair has a significant stigma attached to it. Women with hair loss need confidentiality and a private place to have their hair loss problems handled, and that is exactly what Enhance Hair Restoration, and their staff offer with their female hair loss treatments.
So, there are options for those who want some specific help with their body image, but it’s always important to remember that what is seen on social media often isn’t a true reflection of real life. Much work is needed in the future to ease peer pressure and remind us that many of the images shown have been through photo editing.
The popularity of social media is often an influential force and there are many important discussions on how social media is used to influence body dissatisfaction.