Any trend on social media which exaggerates ideals of perfectionism, beauty, and harmful health habits should be considered dangerous. Facebook and Instagram have taken great strides in recent years to combat pro-eating disorder groups and hashtags in order to regulate the harmful messages which can quickly become viral. Names like “thigh gap” and “ab-crack” have been popular in recent months as images spread like crazy. There have also been movements of “challenges” in which users are challenged to post and share photos which demonstrate their extreme thinness; for example, showing quarters balancing on a clavicle or if an iPhone width is bigger than thigh width. These unrealistic expectations and standards are only achievable naturally by people born with a genetic predisposition toward being extremely thin. Otherwise, people are prone to extreme dieting, starvation, eating disorders, or compulsive exercise. More importantly, the sudden obsession with physical appearance can leave a permanent mark on mental health. Body dysmorphic disorder, an unhealthy obsession on perceived physical flaws, can lead to a lifetime of skewed perception of one’s own image.
The most current trend starting to raise concern among those in eating disorder and body image recovery, as well as advocates for body positivity and mental health is “rib cage bragging”. As a photo trend, the subject is simple: protruding rib cages. Sadly, there has been a great movement away from glamorizing protruding bone structures as a sign of achievement, accomplishment, or any kind of association with an ideal of beauty. As the body positivity movement has grown, fuller bodies, typically criticized, have become normalized and celebrated. The “ribcage bragging” movement, returns the mainstream standards of beauty to images which otherwise demonstrate starvation and severe malnourishment in other people around the world.
Signs Of A Social Media Body Trend
Getting too heavily involved in a social media body image trend can quickly become an obsession. If a loved one is suddenly concerned with diet, exercise, and image, notice some of these signs:
- Chronically checking the scale
- Body-checking or using the mirror constantly to examine body image
- Asking about trend-specific image, like “Do my ribs stick out when I pose like this?”
- Spending time alone or with friends obsessively taking photos
- Spending time on social media looking at people “trending” for their display of a current body image trend
If you believe your loved one may be developing an eating disorder or severe body image disorder due to social media pressures, call Avalon By The Sea today. By offering a full continuum of care, we are able to provide the right primary mental health treatment care to your loved one. Healing mind, body, and spirit, our trusted programs provide trusted results. For a confidential assessment and more information call us today at 888-958-7511.