TikTok’s Ideal Body Makes Starving A Hobby!

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Tiktok’s Ideal Body Makes Starving a Hobby!

Eureka Secondary School, Kells , Co. Meath.

The Social Issue:

The YSI team behind this project found that the social media platform ‘TikTok’ was having a negative effect on young people’s body image. A lot of the trends on TikTok tend to promote eating disorders and children, as young as eight, post their diets and workout routines on the app.

The Idea:

The primary goal for the students was to help teenagers accept themselves for who they are and shed a light on how TikTok’s ideal body is fake and impossible to achieve. They aimed to do this by raising awareness around body positivity and positive self-image and to get restrictions put on harmful comments on TikTok with more trigger warnings on TikToks and TikTok Trends such as ‘What I Eat In A Day’ and ‘Small Waist Challenge’. This would help to further UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.

The team sent out a survey through social media where they found that 83% of teenagers surveyed felt like TikTok promoted an unrealistic body and 63% of teens never, or rarely, felt content with their body image. To combat the harmful effects that TikTok is having on young people’s body image, the students started a social media campaign across TikTok, Instagram and Twitter where they regularly posted helpful information around body image, teenagers’ mental health and eating disorders. They also started a hashtag on TikTok called #nobodyhasyourbody to further promote body positivity.

To raise awareness of the issue, the team contacted the Ministers for Justice and Mental Health; the Ministers for Health and CommunicationsTikTok, Bodywhys and Cyber Safe Kids via email. They also arranged interviews with local media such as LMFM and the Meath Chronicle.

We are teaching teens that it’s okay to be different from what TikTok says is the perfect body and that you should love and appreciate your own body

TikTok's Ideal Body Makes Starving a Hobby Team Member

The Impact:

The students made a positive difference by promoting body positivity to all teenagers on social media and by providing links to helpful websites and posting advice around eating disorders and self-image. By starting their hashtag #nobodyhasyourbody, they made a positive difference by breaking the beauty standards and the ideal body TikTok shows young people and by celebrating uniqueness. This impact earned their project the YSI Make Our World Healthier (Physical Health) 2021 Award. In the future, the team hopes to host a webinar for teenagers in their local area about body positivity and self-love and hopes to teach teens how to love themselves as they are.

The effects of body shaming on TikTok
The effects of body shaming on TikTok