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TikTok Diet Culture

TikTok diet culture
Lifestyle

TikTok Diet Culture

In recent days, it has come to my attention that TikTok has gone from an imitation Vine to a platform for sharing unhealthy diet tips and culture. From not only content made by users but to adverts authorized by creators of the app, it is hard to get away from this obsession with weight control and weight loss. I thought we were all on the bandwagon of stopping this scarily unhealthy and oppressive culture?

Instagram has become a target for criticism in terms of spreading unrealistic ideals and conceptions of the female (or even just human) body. However, we haven’t come to look at TikTok quite so seriously and we should. On numerous occasions, I have seen the same advert pop up about the benefits of fasting for losing weight. Moreover, I have seen numerous videos promoting unhealthy eating habits, such as drastically reducing calorie intake and remaining in a calorie deficit on a day to day basis. Why are these allowed to be posted?

To me, these videos have a reduced impact. I understand the need for healthy eating habits and that a skinny body does not equal health, nor beauty. However, when I consider what these videos might mean to the young teenagers who use the app, I worry. Young teenagers are impressionable and setting an example such as this not only affects them now but could set in motion many personal struggles later on. Diet culture already pervades modern society, by allowing such content to be shared on TikTok the producers allow it to reach even more impressionable people. I think about my cousin addicted to TikTok who might see these adverts and think that her popularity, likeability or mere existence relies on conforming to these beauty standards and believing that she must lose weight to be involved in gen z culture. Should TikTok spread unhealthy ideals? No. There is a significant difference between promoting healthy eating and fasting diet plans. The fact TikTok allows these to be advertised, as well as diet pills, makes me shudder. 

It baffles me how TikTok not only spreads this unhealthy diet culture but also spreads an unhealthy approach to body image in general. This whole ‘inverse’ filter trend saddens me greatly. Why are people basing their attractiveness on a silly feature that merely flips your face? You can never see yourself how others truly see you. There are so many factors. A TikTok feature does not define your beauty! This also goes the same for the mirror filter. Genuinely, nine times out of ten, you look far better as you are. Psychologists have proven a wholly symmetrical face looks unnatural and not necessarily any more *attractive*! So whilst TikTok not only promotes unhealthy eating habits and obsessiveness with weight, it promotes insecurities about your face and the way you are viewed by others. I had never worried before about what my face looked like inverted until this TikTok trend took hold. Why is nobody else angry, rattled and upset by this unhelpful and detrimental culture? 

For anybody who is struggling with body image, do not let such surface trends as TikTok define who you are, how you feel about yourself or the way you live your life! It is difficult and I am as much a sucker to it as you but together, diet culture and body shaming will be overcome! 

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