Thinstagram and other body issues in social media

I tweeted about this surge in facial surgery among singles in India. It is presumed to correlate with the rise of social media ‘selfies’ and heightened awareness of perceived ‘flaws’. See more about it by clicking on the link:

And I received two interesting links via two followers which you should check out too:

and TheBodyCon, run by the Butterfly Foundation

My own teenage years were spent without social media (at least not the online version of it), so I was pretty grounded by the time the web and digital self expression came around. Have a look at #Thinstagram on Tumblr – luckily some jokers put in their own version of being thin to lighten the slightly intense mood.



But being a parent automatically makes you think hard about the additional pressure built up by trends of #Thinstagram and the like. Phew.

Update One:
Thanks to Becky’s comment below I was made aware of another side of the same hashtag. Goes to show that I caught on to the topic in a few minutes and didn’t give it enough research time to understand what’s going on. Thanks Becky, I was just invited to speak at The Body Con in October and will definitely give it more thought until then.

Update Two:
This article on Slate “SelfieLoathing” cites studies on the effect of Facebook and Instagram on self-esteem and self image. via

Update Three:
The Butterfly Foundation have just asked to be involved in their The Body Con ad competition. Enter it if you have a creative idea for their challenge: “looking to demonstrate that the representation of the body that we see in media is constructed and often an unhealthy ideal to try to achieve.” You could win $1,000, be screened on Oct 9 at The Seymour Centre and probably make some valuable contacts to take your idea further. Check it out here.


3 responses to “Thinstagram and other body issues in social media

  1. Although I can agree in saying that social media in general has a completely delusion effect on teenagers and young people, I think people who hate social media paint a really bad picture of it.. As someone who uses this “thinstagram” I feel that the support system I have from others suffering just as much as me, is some what comforting. Not only do we help each other, but we give an ear, to listen and UNDERSTAND.. Which a lot of people who don’t have an eating disorder DO NOT understand.. I as someone who suffers in silence do not have an understanding family, who do not understand mental illness.. I have few friends to speak to, and the people I talk to on Instagram are my support system. And people who do have eating disorder/mental health issues, do NOT choose to have them.. The people we meet on Instagram through this hash tags are people who feel the same emotions, have the same beliefs and are struggling just as much. Using photos to express how I’m feeling also something that helps me. I think a lot of the people I speak to, would be truly lost without it and are in need of people to understand.. If day to day people took a couple of minutes of their day to just listen or understand maybe it wouldn’t be that way.

  2. I’m sorry if I came across rude.. But it just came up on my twitter feed so I wanted to read:), and it just irritates me how these things are painted. They point out all the bad in it but it’s a platform for many young people too share there thoughts, and feelings where they would never tell anyone, without being judged by the rest of the world who clearly don’t understand because they all thnk were crazy because of how social media talks about it! But I guess unless you fully use them, you really don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.. Good luck! 🙂

  3. Hi Becky, I am totally ok with your comment and I do realise (again) how a quick post about a topic can never be that thorough. I guess it was more a spontaneous reaction to what I saw in 2 minutes (hadn’t been aware of the hashtag e.g.) and not meant to hurt anyone who uses it.

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