These days, there seems to be countless anxieties cropping up in our screen obsessed and increasingly digitalised world. From body shaming to violence in the media and all the way through to cyber bullying, all it takes is one quick google search and a wait of mere milliseconds to see thousands of results displaying articles, blog posts, and whole websites devoted to these issues. It seems quite unavoidable in our constantly evolving digital world that a person isn’t aware of these issues and how they affect our daily life.
Now, I’m not sure about you but I feel like these issues are ones that we deal with on a daily basis. A quick scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and even SnapChat provides us with multiple examples of this. From links to articles on the recent Kim Kardashian nude photo controversy (1. 2.) and photos posted under the hashtags #fitspo or #thinspo (3. 4.), we see these anxieties as frequently as we see amusing cat videos or memes.
The recent Kim Kardashian nude selfie controversy is an example of just one of the media anxieties we are faced with today as it highlights the way in which a person’s body is subjected to opinions both unwarranted and uncalled for and yet generally we can do nothing to stop this from happening as it is the culture that has stemmed from anonymity on social media. It may be a fact that the Kardashians are known for trying to gain as much attention and controversy as possible, but it needs to be understood that Kim K posted this selfie on International Women’s Day and received both highly positive praise and deeply opinionated outrage in response to her photo. If we use this as an example for girls of our generation, it displays the anxiety of whether a woman is to be praised for preaching and embracing the teaching of body positivity or whether she should be sent abuse for posting an image deemed inappropriate by many regardless of the message that was trying to be conveyed.
Similarly, the Instagram trend of the hashtags #fitspo and #thinspo have recently proven to be quite controversial in the same light as the Kim K nude selfie. Although these hashtags were created with the intention of acting as a reference for inspiration for those wanting to become more active or eat healthier it has transformed into somewhat of an unhealthy way of promoting body insecurities and shaming. Scrolling through these tags will reveal photos of very thin, very tanned, and very happy looking girls wearing the latest trends in active wear whilst at the gym or in a photo that appears very staged and very fake. These hashtags fit under the media anxiety of body issues and shaming because despite the fact that they begun with what can be deemed as innocent intentions, they have transformed into places where young people can develop unhealthy and obsessive outlooks on their bodies.
So I hope this post makes you consider how in nearly every aspect of our online life we are confronted with media anxieties and how these anxieties play into how we see ourselves and the celebrities we follow on our various social media platforms.
Until next time,
- ‘The disappointing way people are reacting to Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie’ http://hellogiggles.com/kim-k-nude-selfie-tweets/
- ‘Kim Kardashian pens an essay in response to the selfie scandal’ http://www.vogue.com.au/celebrity/news/kim+kardashian+pens+an+essay+in+response+to+the+selfie+scandal+,38646
- ‘Why ‘Fitspo’ Should Come With A Warning Label’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/fitspo-fitspiration_n_5574150.html?section=australia
- ‘The glitz, glamour & ca$h behind the rise of #fitspo blogging’ http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/the-glitz,-glamour-&-cash-behind-the-rise-of-fitspo-blogging/7239604