Lili Reinhart Called Out Body-Editing Apps for Being "Hazardous to Our Health"
The Riverdale actress addressed the issue in a series of Instagram Stories.
In a recent series of Instagram Stories, the Riverdale actress shared that while searching for an app to resize her photos, she came across BodyTune, an app that can "retouch and reshape" your body. Reinhart also posted the app's promo video in her IG Stories to show followers how the tool can be used to literally shrink and slim a person's physique. The app also seems to include features that allow you to "increase height" and "get abs".
"This is not okay," Reinhart wrote. "This is why people develop eating disorders. This is why social media has become hazardous to our health. This is why people have unrealistic expectations of their bodies." (Related: How Celebrity Social Media Affects Your Mental Health and Body Image)
Though unrealistic beauty standards have been around long before the dawn of the internet, Reinhart has a point: Social media has heightened public fixation on these standards, not to mention exposure to images that portray them. In fact, a 2016 review of 20 studies published in the journal Body Image found that using social media is indeed associated with body image issues and disordered eating habits.
But these issues don't stem from the social media sites themselves, according to the review. Rather, it's how people are using these platforms. The research showed that uploading photos specifically for the approval of others and comparing yourself to others on social media are linked to negative body image and disordered eating. (Knowing that, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that a recent survey named Instagram as the worst social media platform for your mental health.)
Of course, social media isn't all bad. After Reinhart shared her concerns about body-editing apps on Instagram, many people took to Twitter to thank her for calling attention to the issue.
"This is one of the best things I've ever read. Thank you for this. I really needed to see it and I'm sure there [are] many more girls that need to see this too! Share this sh*t loud [and] proud," one person tweeted. "Thank you for your message on body image and those app[s]," wrote another. (Related: Cassey Ho "Decoded" Instagram's Beauty Standard—Then Photoshopped Herself to Match It)
"Thank you for your words. The struggle is real with all these apps to change your body. It's hard not to let it get to you at times but your words are a great reminder that most of the stuff we see on social media is not real," added another person.
This isn't the first time Reinhart has spoken out against unrealistic beauty standards. She's previously been open about her experience with body dysmorphia, a clinical fixation on perceived flaws that causes consistent, significant emotional distress and critical thoughts about the body, according to the International OCD Foundation.
"Even today, I see myself in the mirror and think, this doesn't look the way the world tells me it should," Reinhart recently told Glamour UK of her struggle with body dysmorphia. "I don't have a cinched, minuscule waist. I do have curves, I have cellulite, my arms aren't stick thin. This is my body and we're told that it should fit certain proportions."
But as the Riverdale star noted in her Instagram Story, "our bodies should not conform to 'one size fits all.'"
Bottom line: The problem isn't in these body-editing apps themselves. It's the underlying reason why so many people feel like they need to use them in the first place—not to mention the fact that using them only perpetuates unrealistic body standards. As Reinhart wrote: "Once you alleviate yourself from the pressure to conform to fake/unreal standards....the world is a lot better. I promise you."