Page 1: Shape of Me

Lauren Miller and Shelby Pronk

Every turn of a corner, every glance to the side and every scroll of your thumb on a phone screen, you see a body. Bodies on Instagram, bodies walking past you, bodies on billboards and posters.


People have made it a habit of comparing themselves to those bodies.


“I think it’s kind of stupid because when people use body image, it’s either in a negative way rather than a positive way,” sophomore Ayanna Wright said. 


“It’s like people have changed it to like a whole thing to where not everyone’s body image is a good body image.” 


Social media apps, like Instagram and TikTok, often affect how people see themselves because they put even more focus on body image. 


“Everyone has their own idea of a perfect body, and if someone does not fit in those standards of a perfect body, they are different,” sophomore Amara Ehsa said.


Ehsa, sophomore Makenzie Tanner and senior Cyerra Boyer said social media has played a role in creating the idea that the perfect body for a girl is someone skinny with an hourglass figure — small waist, flat stomach, big butt — blonde hair, blue eyes and short.


But how many people actually look like that?


“Body image and the way you dress impacts a lot of things that go on in school, who your friends are and everything, basically,” sophomore Laila Pagan said.


On the other hand, boys are not immune to these struggles.


Standards for boys often include being tall and muscular with a six pack.


“Social media affected me. It would want me to change my body image because of like dudes on social media,” sophomore Daniel Bui said. 


“I feel like girls tend to like hotter guys, more buff guys, more swole, like taller and handsome.”


Sophomore Caiden Harris said he doesn’t care about guys on social media, but his insecurities come from real life around him.


“I do get scared about working out with other people because I feel like I’m going to be judged,” Harris said.


 “I’m very insecure about that. I don’t think I’m that strong, I’m insecure about my strength.”


Sophomore Lolaina Gutierrez believes that people can develop mental health issues due to body image and body shaming.


“I know people who get really bad anxiety from it, including myself,” Gutierrez said.


One in 50 people have developed body dysmorphia, which is the obsessive thought of perceived flaws in appearance.


According to the Mayo Clinic website, body dysmorphia and insecurities can cause many mental illnesses, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety disorders like social anxiety disorder, OCD, eating disorders, and substance misuse disorders.


“People are not perfect, but social media makes it look like they are,” Tanner said.


Social media creates the idea that people online have a perfect life from the pictures they post and the way that they look, when in reality, there’s more going on behind the scenes.


Not only does a picture mask that persons’ life situations, pictures online can also easily be edited. Photoshop can do many things to make a picture look completely different. To overall, hide insecurities the person doesn’t want the world seeing.


These edited pictures, in turn, create the perfect online image that makes people insecure and want to change themselves.


“I have not changed myself, but I have thought about it,” Wright said. “Sitting in front of a mirror for, like more than I should, looking at my clothes or myself.”


Social media has made it difficult for most people to be confident in themselves and comfortable with their body and the way they look.


Body image needs to be a communicated issue that society fights through together, no matter the body type.


“I feel like a perfect body is however you feel in your own body,” Wright said.


“If you feel great and you feel good, like the best person in the world and confident, then that’s what the perfect body is.”