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Zara McDermott – Disordered Eating Review

Nowadays you can post just the best parts of your life to social media, no longer is your life your own secret diary but something you show off to show how great it is and how blessed you are to live it, but what does that mean for other people? And especially in an age of fitness and health being so rife, what can that really do to impressionable human beings?

In this documentary Zara McDermott, an influencer who found fame through Love Island, exposes disordered eating and how social media has an effect on men and women, young and old and how they view their body image. In the documentary she speaks to many different types of people on their disordered eating and comes to learn that what she thought were harmless pictures that she posted online could actually have detrimental effects to other people’s mental health.

For a while I have also been keeping up a fitness Instagram where I post my current work out challenges and whatever I’m doing to better my health and fitness, however I am an average looking woman who doesn’t have abs or super skinny thighs or a huge butt like most of these influencers do, yet could even ‘normal’ people documenting their health and fitness journey have an effect on others? And in some ways, have I also been affected by looking at these influencers and wanting to be like them?

Interestingly the biggest thing that Zara looked at in this documentary was TiK ToK and its algorithm in that if you respond to a certain piece of content then it will show you that type of content again and again. I found it interesting that so many people seem to have a negative view point on TiK ToK when it’s literally based on what you do, yes of course if you are spiralling in this sort of situation then you can fall into the rabbit hole of disordered eating and anorexia etc., but also they do have functions that make it so you can stop seeing that sort of stuff and since I’ve been using that function I mainly just see kittens and babies and engagement announcements which I very much enjoy.

But I understand in the world of social media that we live in today that anyone posting anything can affect someone else, whether that’s disordered eating or other mental health issues, but does that mean that we should stop posting these sorts of videos and content? Shouldn’t we be proud of our achievements and is it really our place to feel the blame for what we’re posting when someone else has an adverse reaction to it? Or should it be themselves that have to come to terms with how they’re responding?

I have gone through a lot of times in my life where social media was super detrimental to my overall mental health, yet when you use social media in a way that benefits you I think it’s nothing but good and I feel that’s what people need. In this day and age young people in schools and colleges need to be taught about social media in a way that my generation never were because it wasn’t so rampant, if we tell them about not believing everything you see online and remembering that it’s all the showreel and the best parts then maybe impressionable minds will go on to believe that and understand that, rather than taking what they seen online as the whole truth.

The hardest part with this documentary is that there is no clear answer. Social media is so rife that you cannot get rid of it completely. I do believe people should be able to post what they like and be proud of their achievements, but also be mindful of how it could be manipulated. A lot of the time I do believe people need to change their own mindset and not look at these things that could cause them harm, but that is easier said than done. Who can we blame? The person for posting the content or the person allowing it to trigger them? There is no answer and so the issue continues…

I found this documentary insanely fascinating because it is such a big topic . Social media has taken over the world and so setting boundaries on it for young people isn’t really an option when they can easily lie about their age. Being able to keep tabs on your children is probably the best way to go about it to see what they’re looking at and let them know that it’s not ok, but at the moment where everyone seems to have to have a job otherwise they can’t survive life, who has the time to constantly be keeping an eye on what everyone else around them is doing? I think this is a great documentary to watch to open your eyes to realise what you’re posting on social media and how other people could take it and whether it’s actually putting positivity or negativity into the world. Despite not having a resolution, this is a fantastic documentary in opening your eyes to what is happening on social media and what affect it has on you too.

What do you think of the documentary?

Until next time.

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