How Social Media Positively Influences Body Image (Research Paper Sample)
The research essay is the culmination of everything you've learned in this writing course—from textual analysis to sentence mechanics, argumentation, organization, research and critical thinking. At best, it offers a way for you to engage with the voices of others (including Thoreau) in exploring a subject of significance and developing your own educated point of view on the issue.
For Essays 1 and 2, you mainly had to summarize what sources covered and evaluate them. For Essay 3, you have to develop your own ideas, to offer background on the topic in general, to interpret your sources, and to write an original argument about your research topic—developing a stance that incorporates your sources while still contributing a new perspective to the debate. You will have to make use of a minimum of 8 sources for this essay, covering a wide range of viewpoints, and making sure to include at least two sources that offer a counter-argument to your thesis. Remember while writing:
• Make your thesis narrow, purposeful, and debatable
• Establish your topic's range and importance—why it is worthy of our time and consideration. Be sure to return to this idea multiple times in your essay (not just in your intro and conclusion)
• Give due thought to structuring your essay (both on an individual paragraph level and as a greater whole), developing strong topic sentences and review sentences (consider also making use of headings) that lead us through a series of well-organized, appropriate, and specific details.
• In addition to strong body paragraphs, be sure to include a carefully chosen title, a compelling introduction that establishes your thesis and frames your argument, as well as a non-summary conclusion that both emphasizes the value of your research and points us to unanswered questions, the need for further studies, etc.
• Include multiple references and direct quotes by Thoreau, as well as relevant background information, in a way that feels integral to the argument—not simply tacking this on in the intro and conclusion.
• Make regular and compelling use of hard data—statistics, surveys, etc.—to help build and support your argument. (Note: always cite your data; if you don't know where you got it, you shouldn't be using it)
• Your tone throughout this essay should be both analytical and authoritative, without coming off as close-minded, biased, or condescending to opposing views. Avoid oversimplified diction such as good and bad, while also maintaining a tone that is sufficiently humble.
• Use quotations (properly formatted), paraphrases, and the like, correctly cited in text and in your Works Cited Page. (Note: graphs and tables are also allowed, though they will not be counted in regards to the overall length requirements.)
Social Media Impact on Body Positivity
Enhancements in technology over the years have seen the world opened up into one global village. Access and transfer of information and data has been specifically made easy fast and convenient through the internet and particularly through the media. The society has embraced the internet explosion which has in turn created social media platforms that include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These media platforms in the contemporary society have adversely influenced people's perceptions on real life issues such as body image. Individuals have become accustomed to using these social media platforms as reference points for the attainment of the “ideal” body and often go to extreme lengths to achieve it. As a result, the struggles to conform to the society's perfect body have led to severe health problems from poor eating methods and low self-esteem. Nonetheless, these social media platforms have also been integral in championing the acceptance of one's appearance and overall body image. Through the vast numbers of followers in the platforms they have been successful in running campaigns that have reached all corners of the world. Various authors including Thoreau have also written books with themes touching on the effects of the media on body image and self-esteem issues. The research paper purports to examine how the social media platforms have been able to positively influence the aspect of body image in the society.
There are over 3.2 billion people in social media platforms who have been at the forefront in the spreading of body positivity in the society. These platforms have people from diverse backgrounds who are connected through friendship or through common experiences. Individuals have been able to create groups on the social media platforms such as Facebook where they help each other on different issues including cooking tips, maternal care, where to buy cheap household items, job markets, business tips, community policing and life related issues. They have been at the forefront in bringing together people who suffer from low self-esteem issues because of the negative perceptions about their bodies and enabled them to share and express themselves positively. These social media groups have enabled individuals to appreciate their physical appearances and body sizes and advise the members from falling to the pressures of the “acceptable” body size standard set by the society. They also conduct regular live chat forum where the members are able to converse one on one and even share photos where they celebrate each other's uniqueness. These social media groups have gone to the extent of setting up face to face meet ups where the members have been able to share more in person with their close relatives and friends.
Social media platforms such as Instagram has really helped to promote body positivity through the posting of individual photos which shows that one is comfortable with how they look and their body sizes and hence is celebrating that aspect with his/her friends on the site. Reports from a survey recently conducted by Grose, who was examining the relationship between social media users around the world and the effects on body image, showed that, of the 3.2 Billion active social media users more than 20% of the users were in social media groups that engaged on matters relating to their health's and self-esteem issues. The survey also noted that the “plus size divas” group on Facebook had over 500,000 sharing and celebrating their body sizes which has resulted in building their social confidence (Grose n.p).
The social media groups have encouraged organisations to join the fight and this has led to the growth of social medi...
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