*The term womxn serves to address all female identifying individuals
Creating awareness about how Instagram is harmful to college aged *womxn with eating disorders, and informing people on how to be more conscientious when using the platform.
Instagram has become a major part of generation Z’s identity, shaping how we view ourselves and others. The idea of a perfect body, lifestyle, and persona have become a normalized ideal which has glorified eating disorders and made it extremely difficult for young womxn battling this issue. While Instagram may not be solely responsible for eating disorders, it does have a large influence on young womxn who may already be prone to having issues with self image and eating disorders. Understanding pro-ED content, what eating disorders are, and how to be a conscientious social media user will be examined in this project.
The final deliverables for Consumed include a website and an Instagram campaign that capture the harmful nature of eating disorders. This project is meant to bring awareness to the harsh reality of the harm that Instagram does to womxn with eating disorders. Trying to keep up with the unrealistic body and lifestyle image that is cultivated by Instagram influencers and peers creates anxiety and a sense of unhappiness in young womxn who already have issues with eating disorders. In order to create awareness and show people how to be better Instagram users by being aware of pro-ed content, I have created an Instagram campaign and a website.. The campaign will showcase the raw and uncontrollable nature of how eating disorders affect the body and mind, and the harm that Instagram further causes to those suffering. The website is an extension of the Instagram account, in order to give people more in depth information on help resources, tips on Instagram use, and access to a community of people battling similar issues.
The three main lenses used when creating this project were mental health/psychology, consumer culture/history, and group identity/sociology. In order to better understand eating disorders and the general human need to be accepted, I researched psychology and mental health. This lense directed me to create content that really spoke to young womxn experiencing eating disorders and the feeling of social isolation. Consumer culture and history informed me on how social media and marketing trends have evolved over the years and led up to the new beauty standards created by social media influencers. This was very important to understand because it directly affects how people view themselves and others. Group identity and sociology illustrated how important it is for people to feel that they fit in and are accepted. This is what fueled my idea to create a positive group experience on the Consumed website to give people a safe community to talk about their feelings and experiences with one another.