Body Dysmorphia: How TikTok Impacts Self Image

Body Dysmorphia: How TikTok Impacts Self Image

By Erika Ortiz

            A new social media app called TikTok emerged and swept generations because of its easy use, likability, and relatability created by other users or creators. TikTok is used like a break from stressors in life since it can have a variety of entertaining and funny videos. The TikTok algorithm determines your perception and how you choose to “respond” to each video or comment you see and scroll past. TikTok has tons of videos, from cute cat videos to funny skits, serious world news, and even tips or “how to” for your everyday life. Since TikTok has gained massive popularity, it can be strikingly influential.  TikTok can also instill some negativity in your life.  Many videos go viral for the wrong reasons and are taken to a dangerous extremity. One type of TikTok video that always goes viral is known as, “What I eat in a day”. The creator documents all their meals throughout the day and some even calculate their calorie intake. Some creators claim it is to promote a “healthy lifestyle”, while others say it is solely because these types of videos happen to go viral and do well with their audience. Regardless, these kinds of videos seem to inflict the idea of having body dysmorphia or, ironically enough, an unhealthy eating style. Body dysmorphia or body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition in which people hyper-focus on their flaws and appearances to the point where they will never be “good enough” in their own eyes. Some of these videos show the over consumption of food, too few nutrients in each meal, or sometimes, too much food, and too much sugar and/or greasy foods. These videos have an alarming comment section. Users will comment something to the degree of, “Wow I eat too much”, or, “Maybe I should skip a meal or two.” As you scroll through these TikToks and come across a “What I eat in a day” or a video that promotes an unhealthy body image that makes you feel uncomfortable and/or negative about yourself, press report for “harmful activities”, then press the “not interested” option at the bottom right. Even if you do not necessarily feel that way, others still might, so it is best to do your part in preventing the spread or glorification of unhealthy lifestyles.

If you or someone you know is experiencing body dysmorphia and/or signs of an eating disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com