Thanks to the internet and social media, it’s become easier for LGBTQ people to find attractive people to ogle. However, that very same accessibility has its own harmful side effect, as revealed by a recent survey conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation.
According to the survey titled “Body Image,” 33 percent of LGBTQ respondents experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of their body image. The results are alarming, especially since only 11 percent of straight respondents experienced feeling the same.
Bisexuals, in particular, seemed the most affected, with 34 percent experiencing suicidal thoughts and 45 percent “disgusted” by their body image. Twenty-nine percent of bisexual respondents also admit to self-harm because of their body image. Fifteen percent of gay men and lesbians have done the same.
Another finding from the survey showed that more LGBTQ adults experienced anxiety and depression over their body image compared to heterosexual adults. Fifty-three percent of the LGBTQ respondents felt anxious about their body image, while 56 percent said they were depressed because of their body image. Only 33 percent of the straight respondents felt the same.
Mental Health Foundation’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager Toni Giugliano spoke to Gay Times and pointed to social media as a factor in causing body image issues among LGBTQ people.
“The main picture from our survey was one in which commercial, social media and advertising pressures on body image are contributing to mental health problems for millions of people. This social harm has been allowed to develop largely unchecked,” he said. “While there have been some positive initiatives, social media companies have frequently been unwilling to take the necessary steps to protect their users from harmful content.”
Adam4Adam blog readers, how do you maintain a positive body image in spite of the ubiquitousness of social media? Share your tips in the comments section below to help out other readers that may be going through body image issues of their own.