Can This Girl Can Rid Us of the Skinny Selfie? We Hope So!

In the Apple a Day this week, we're taking a look at the 'Skinny Selfie'

With January, the month of the “New Year, New Me” mentality, now over there still appears to be a high rate of new health regimes, supplements and work outs enticing individuals to help fight the fat gained over the festive period … a craze that used to simmer down by February. One possible reason is perhaps due to the growing number of female celebrities who appeared to discover that the secret to their bikini bodies was down to keeping fit over Christmas (while the rest of the population enjoyed, or maybe indulged, themselves, and quite rightly so). However, these celebs are not afraid to show that off their results but they are completely unaware of the potential harm it may cause others … let us explain.

Selfies – a self-portrait photograph taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone – have become increasingly popular on social media over the last few years. In fact the most popular Christmas present of 2014 - the ‘Selfie-Stick’ is making it even easier to get selfie snap happy. Now, it’s not all a worrisome picture - the worldwide splash made by the ‘No Make-up Selfie’ raised a huge amount of money for Cancer Research UK. We are completely behind using the selfie for good, and have even promoted selfie-at-the-centre campaigns ourselves. [] 

However, the skinny selfie has us paying close attention. And we’re concerned at a powerful trend being used to perpetuate perhaps unhealthy weight loss with what appears to be a growing number of women copying female celebrities and documenting diet results with selfies. Competitive selfie dieting 'diaries' are said to be creating damaging psychological pressures that can exacerbate anorexia and other potentially fatal illnesses.

Dr Alex Yellowlees, medical director and consultant psychiatrist at the Priory hospital group in Glasgow, has said that more and more young women suffering from eating disorders are taking pictures of themselves and sharing them with friends. These women are encouraged by social media to reduce their weight to dangerous levels by looking at so-called 'thinspiration' websites (otherwise known as celebrity Instagram accounts) which promote the pursuit of the ‘thigh gap’ or ‘tips and tricks’ to ‘love your body’.

The Priory Group, the UK's largest provider of eating disorders treatments outside the NHS have disclosed that it had seen a 15% rise in adult patients admitted with eating disorders in just one year, increasing to 535 in 2014, up from 463 in 2013.  This is obviously a massive issue and with Eating Disorders Awareness Week around the corner (23-27 February) we are certainly on the lookout for some interesting campaigns on the best way to fight off the ‘Skinny Selfie’, let’s hope This Girl Can

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