Social media as the ability to make other feels connected and stay ‘in touch’ with their favorite celebrities or friends but it also has the capacity to make people feel insecure about their bodies.
Such is the case for one anonymous woman who shared her experience with how Instagram sparked her severe anorexia in a nearly six-minute video posted on MinuteVideos YouTube channel.
The clip, which has more than 400,000 views and 1,500 comments details how her struggle with the dangerous eating disorder started and why the ‘social convention’ of being ‘skinny to be beautiful’ needs to stop.
Social media danger: An anonymous women shared how ‘social convention’ made sparked her anorexia
Social convention: She said it has become the norm for ‘skinny’ to equate to beauty
The video opened with the woman admitting that friends would often compliment her on her body.
‘”I am so jealous of you. Everything always looks so good on you. You look great. Have you lost weight? These were all compliments given to her by friends but while her friend may not have sensed her insecurity, inside she was battling with the notion of having the ‘perfect body’.
‘I was always a little bigger than my friends, but hearing that comment drove me to go beyond the extremes of losing weight; I became anorexic.
‘These days, being skinny or ‘fit’ is the new pretty. Even on Instagram, those that are skinny or in workout clothes get the most likes because that’s what is deemed “beautiful'”.
‘We constantly compare ourselves to these “beautiful” individuals making it our goal to get to where they are. Everything from dieting, becoming gym junkies, skipping meals, or even plastic surgery.
‘As we continue our quest, no matter how hard or how much we view the mirror or whatever compliments we receive, it’s never enough; I’m still fat.’
Studying for surgery: She asked her parents if she could undergo cosmetic surgery if she got into her top choice school
Pressure: After her cosmetic surgery, she knew the next step was losing the weight
She confesses that she was the girl in school that nobody noticed and wasn’t even popular in her own group of friends.
But to combat that feeling, she made it a personal goal to get into the best university – a goal that was also driven by the desire to get cosmetic surgery.
‘My priority was to first get into my dream college and then I could worry about my appearance,’ she said.
‘I asked my parents for their permission to get cosmetic surgery if I was accepted into the university and they agreed and gave me their blessing.’
From that point on, she put all her energy into studying and passing the entrance exams, which paid off because she was accepted.
But despite her outward happiness, she still had two obstacles to overcome: her face and weight.
Work harder: After she kept succeeding, the felt she needed to work harder to maintain her weight
‘Too skinny’: Friends kept telling her she was too thin but she didn’t believe them
After her facial cosmetic surgery, she said she looked like a completely different person but it wasn’t enough as she still felt the need to lose weight.
She said: ‘Even if my face is beautiful, if I am still fat, no one will consider me beautiful. This is the social convention – you have to be skinny to be beautiful.’
After being teased by the boys at her school who called her ‘big arms’ and ‘piggy’ she watched videos to teach her how to exercise.
At first she almost gave up because she was tired and sore but she kept herself inspired by constantly looking at beautiful and fit girls on Instagram.
She said: ‘I figured if I could look like them, people would notice me. I could wear anything I wanted but most importantly I could show the people that teased me about my body that they were wrong.’
Symptoms: As she lost more weight, her hair started to fall out and her skin started to peel
Not eating: She started working out in the mornings and not eating anything with carbs or fats
After losing weight, she still believed that her body wasn’t perfect despite boys asking for her number and girls envying her.
So she started dieting and watching what she ate, which caused her to lose weight even faster than when she exercised.
People started to tell her she was too skinny but she didn’t believe them and continued to exercise and control her diet more.
She began to work out in the mornings too and wouldn’t eat anything that had carbs or fats in it.
‘I was so obsessed with how I looked,’ she said. ‘I really believed that if I missed a workout or ate more than I was supposed to, I would go back to being fat again.’
But as she continued to lose weight, her body started to go through abnormal changes such as hair loss and peeling skin.
Diagnosis: She woke up in the hospital with tubes in her arms and was diagnosed with anorexia
Recovered: The anonymous woman said she realized how little other people’s opinions matter and how important self-love is
She also lost a lot of friends because she couldn’t accept that what they were saying about her being too skinny was true.
One day, she woke up in the hospital with tubes in her arms and her mother by her side – she had be diagnosed with anorexia.
Fast forward a year later and she is now fully recovered.
She realized how little other people’s opinions matter and how important self-love is – especially with social media so prevalent.
She said: ‘I am me and I am beautiful in my own way and I don’t feel the need to have to follow society or trends about being skinny.’
‘Why do I need people who only love me for how I look anyway? Its been a long journey getting here and I really hope my story can help warn people who are about to fall into the same trap.’