Social Media, Body Image & New Power

by B.Matthews on Mars 19, 2017 - 8:17pm

The article, “Body talks: Manitobans share how they feel about their bodies” written by Shannon Cuciz and published in Global News on March 15th, 2017 addresses citizens from Manitoba discussing their feelings about their bodies. For example, a young woman named, Lara Rae, transgender women and her transition at the age of 51. She states the many pressures that came along with her transition. The article calls attention to the many lifestyle problems Manitobans are going through while sharing any stories they might have had when overcoming any body image issues. According to, approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. is a non-profit organization that raises funds to raise awareness towards body image issues. While trying to help overcome any battles that people are trying to get through. According to Kathleen Gabriele, “Stuff seeps in and with social media now, that’s the things that scares me the most because people can be so mean because they’re not right in front of you.” Problems’ concerning body image derives from social media because the pictures or information on social media portrays a certain way of life or body shape that people are ‘supposed’ to look like.  Mass media portrays a look of being perfect that most of us don’t necessarily fit in.  Furthermore, National Online Journalist and Health Global News journalist Carmen Chai published an article called, “Kids as young as 3 call themselves fat, refuse food because of weight gain.” This article addresses, kids aged three to five complaining about gaining too much weight and not being happy with their appearances. The news article calls attention to parents and classmates as the reason why these youngsters are showing a lack of confidence in their bodies and suggesting that media doesn’t help the case either. Children grow up with an ideal body image due to the Disney princesses and or Barbie dolls they play with. According to Dr. Jacqueline Harding, a PACEY advisor and child development expert, “By the age of three or foursome children have already pretty much begun to make up their minds — and even hold strong views — about how bodies should look. There is also research evidence to suggest that some four-year-olds are aware of strategies as to how to lose weight (Carmen Chai, 4).” The article then shifts its attention to social media being the main issue to body image issues.

According to Harvard Business Review, “new power” is defined as an innovative type of power where during a given time limit people are willingly able to contribute donations while making or giving back to a cause. An example of new power would be the hashtag and social media campaign #IMNOANGEL by Lane Bryant. This is a social media campaign that raises awareness to society to redefine the meaning of “true size.” In order to promote positive body image, women of all sizes send in a photograph of themselves while sharing a personal statement of self-confidence attached with the hashtag. This is an example of new power because it allows for it allows for people to come together to raise awareness to positive body image. This campaign was created to illustrate and raise attentiveness towards having positive body image characteristics.

When it comes to raising awareness towards body image the main idea is to create more awareness to the serious issues that come with having negative setbacks. It’s not the easiest thing to talk about with people, so I thought that it may be good to create an app or Facebook page that allows for people to discuss the many body image problems they see with themselves. I did some research on possible anonymous apps linked here however, they app seems to have many flaws. I would suggest that the anonymous app or Facebook page would allow for age groups to be combined together based on their Facebook profile so all information is near accurate. This app would allow for teenagers or anyone using it to willingly share anything they don’t like about their bodies. In addition to, reciting positive tips and tricks concerning body image to help with any problems.


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About the author

I'm Brianne, this is my final semester at Champlain College and I am currently studying social science: education option. On my past time, I enjoy learning musical instruments, and practicing the ones that I currently study.