Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.


Let’s Talk About … Social Media & Body Image

With Nicole Hawkins, PhD, CEDS-S

Recently in body image group we examined some research on social media and the impact on body image and eating disorders. Furguson et al. found that increased social media use by adolescent girls was the strongest predictor of lower life satisfaction and body dissatisfaction. Tiggemann & Slater found the more time young girls and women spent on social media was significantly related to internalization of the thin ideal, body surveillance, and drive for thinness. Social media users scored significantly higher on all body image concerns than non-users. They also found the number of friends/followers and time spent on social media were significantly associated with increased body image disturbances. A 2010 Harvard study that looked at the island of Fiji found that young girls exposed to social media imagery were 60% more likely to develop eating disorders. We discussed the importance of choosing wisely who you follow on social media, make your social media a safe place that brings you joy and happiness.

To learn more about Body Image Therapy at Center for Change, click here.

Dr. Hawkins is a clinical psychologist and is the Chief Executive Officer at Center for Change.  She is a specialist in eating disorders and body image and has provided clinical expertise at Center for Change since 1999. Dr. Hawkins developed a comprehensive body image program that focuses on the media, diet industry, plastic surgery, childhood issues, and learning to appreciate one’s body, and she leads these groups for the Inpatient and Residential patients at Center for Change.  She is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (Supervisor), has published several articles, and presents regularly at national and regional conferences.

Center for Change is a place of hope and healing that is committed to helping those suffering from eating disorders break free and fully recover.  The Center offers intensive treatment for eating disorders and co-occurring issues, including a specialty program for co-occurring diabetes (ED-DMT1), and provides a full continuum of care: Inpatient, Residential, Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, and Outpatient services. Located in Orem Utah, Cottonwood Heights (Salt Lake City) Utah, and Boise Idaho, serving females in Inpatient and Residential, and all genders in PHP, IOP, and Outpatient.  Accredited by The Joint Commission, AdvancED, and TRICARE® certified.