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“Fitspiration” on the web during Covid-19 is negatively affecting our adolescent daughters



The increased Instagram usage during Covid-19 has provoked our youth to idolize poor eating habits and over-exercising.

“Fitspiration” is classically known as an image that promotes the ideal athletic body figure, characterized as muscular and toned. We have all seen it, the Instagram girl with thousands of followers posting workout videos on a daily basis claiming “health and wellness” are her source of“joy”. Does she promote balance? Or even holistic wellness?

Previous experimental studies have demonstrated a link between exposure to thin ideals in traditional mass media, such as television, magazines and advertisements, and negative body image in women. As we know due to the Covid-19 circumstances we see our children filling their day with Instagram scrolls, “quick fix” smoothie fad recipes, and plank challenges. What ever happened to playing outside and enjoying the great outdoors? Has Covid-19 provoked our children into a state of digital over-consumption?

The “role models” that our young daughters, sisters and friends look up to that “promote healthy habits” may actually be poorly affecting ones self-perception. Having an athletic body similar to “Instagram models” we see consists of strict dieting practices and a substantial amount of weight training. Research has suggested that exposure to images featuring toned and fit body types only produce negative body image when paired with fitness. We increasingly see that our children are not partaking in healthy eating or exercising for the pure joy of it. It is driven by a psychological game pushing our youth into a state of crisis and body dysmorphia.

How can we help this? Has Covid-19 doomed our youth? As mothers, parents, and friends we must promote the holistic well being of our youth. It is more important now than ever to educate those around us on the importance of positive self-perception and promote body confidence. Take a second today to sit and reflect on the way your daughter has consumed her media, and in what ways can you aid in the education process.

Educate. Learn. And promote positivity.

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