Young people with eating disorders are being triggered by the body-editing apps promoted on Instagram and TikTok

Social Media apps, Tiktok and Instagram are once again trending in an online argument. It is believed that these two platforms are hosting advertisements of body changing apps that might trigger young people with eating disorders.

These body changing apps can alter the whole outlook of anyone with just one click. People can change the size of their waist, can alter the size of their limbs and can even add muscles to make themselves look more fit and healthy. Such body alteration apps and filters are creating an unhealthy environment where it disapproves someone being obese and on the other hand it favours someone being slim and smart, creating an uneven ground.

A large number of teenagers are found to be more affected by such divisions. As a result the eating disorder has gone up at an alarming rate . According to an Eating Disorder Charity Seed, the disorder rate among children ranging from 10-19 years has gone up to around 68%.

This increment has alarmed many Eating Disorder’s campaigner, who are now demanding the Social Media companies to account and to stop such unhealthy and unhelpful messaging. The famous leading and award winning advocate for people with eating disorders, Hope Virgo showed her concerns that the undeniable fact that both Instagram and Tiktok are hosting body changing apps might further fuel this Eating Disorder epidemic.

Many health journalist came up in support with this argument, one of them is Danae Mercer , who herself has an history of Eating Disorder and regularly promotes body positivity on her Instagram and Tiktok by sharing the behind the curtain reality . In an interview with a renowned television network, BBC, Danae stated that from her personal experience she can relate how such apps can influence anyone with Eating Disorder . She further added that these apps are capable of doing things that make it look like unachievable in real life even if they put in all of their efforts.

It is believed that such apps can add so much unnecessary pressure on teenagers, such as when they use these apps to alter their body for their social media life but would be pressurized when needed to face the real world. According to the Tiktok's management, such advertisements do not go against their guidance provided for advertisements but they further added that they do make sure to review their policies in order to support and promote a body positive environment. In past, the Social media platform has already banned advertisements that were subjected to promote weight loss and fasting among teenagers.

Another eating disorder charity, Beat, stated that ,“body changing apps that encourages the stigmatization of weight or promote the idealization of thinness, could cause distress for people suffering from an eating disorder or vulnerable to one”.

The external affairs department of Beat has also tried to encourage people to report triggering content wherever possible so it could be notified to the authorities before causing distress to anyone else.

Read next: TikTok is seen to be prompting accounts that circulate hate and misinformation
Previous Post Next Post