Say it isn’t true, but Instagram shapes our everyday lives. The constant scrolling through ones newsfeed is generally what every young user is excited to go through too see what fun things their friends did over the weekend. Most users are ignorant to the fact that Instagram is so damaging to today’s society and the ways that people view their bodies. One of the many reasons for these issues are the “finstagrams” or fake accounts that are hateful or have pictures of ridiculous “desirable” bodies.
The first example of this is an account on Instagram that uses the hash tag #THINSPIRATION. Although this account wasn’t made to be negative, it sure has shaped into one. These accounts were originally established to give motivation to women to get in shape and feel good about themselves. What the creators of this account did not realize was that these accounts would cause eating disorders within the users viewing the pictures.
In April 2012 Instagram banned the hash tags #thinspiration, #thinspo, and #loseweight from its site hoping that it would help the eating disorders that were arising from this account. (Harris).
Instagram recently changed their guidelines on eating disorders;
“The Instagram community cares for each other, and is often a place where people facing difficult issues such as eating disorders, cutting, or other kinds of self-injury come together to create awareness or find support. We try to do our part by providing education in the app and adding information in the Help Center so people can get the help they need”(Instagram).
These hash tags have been banned, but now users have changed the hash tags to similar things such as #thingspogram and #th1nspo.
Along with accounts like thinspiration, there are also hate accounts made by users about other users they may or may not know. I recently spoke to my little sister about the issues that are currently going on in the high school Instagram world and she was quick to inform me on many “hate” accounts. One account she informed me about was an account named “gv.whore” that takes pictures from users accounts of girls in her high school and posts the pictures of girls with hateful captions.
Accounts like these aren’t just present in my little sisters high school, these accounts are happening in many high schools and even on celebrity accounts throughout America. 20 year old supermodel Gigi Hadid recently defended herself against those body-shaming her on Instagram. The model explained to Zach Johnson with E Online, “So many people are so quick to comment negative opinions this month. Yes, judgment on social media comes from people who, 99% of the time, have no idea what they’re talking about, but I’m human, and I’m not going to lie, I did let the negativity get to me a little”(Johnson). Even people as beautiful as Gigi Hadid let Instagram comments get to her.
I realize that there are many positive effects of Instagram, but all of the negative totally outweighs the good with the negative accounts being a huge factor.
For my Visual I asked 4 of my hall mates to take time out of there day so I could interview them and show them a video from Dove. The video shows Dove using filters and edits to make someone look like something they aren’t, just like one has the opportunity to on Instagram.
Below is the video I showed to the four girls during my video if anyone would like to watch it as well.