Dating Apps Members “Need More Body Confidence”
A recent study shows that people who have joined dating apps tend to control their weight in unhealthy ways. Researchers interviewed 1,801 men and women from the United States and found that a lot of these individuals use fasting and vomiting to control their weight & laxative use is very common as well.
* Photos on a person’s dating profile seem to be better than what he/she actually looks like – that’s why many men and women want to lose weight before meeting other singles in real life.
Beat is an eating disorder charity which suggests that dating app users who are at risk actually need professional support in this regard. Indeed, Internet dating has become mainstream nowadays, and an individual’s physical appearance is usually the No. 1 factor that determines whether he/she can get a date or not because almost everyone looks at other members’ dating profile photos first. The photo is the real gate-keeper in the online dating space.
According to the Journal of Eating Disorders, scientists compared the behaviour of those who joined dating apps with those who didn’t, and the finding is: dating app members have a much higher chance of engaging in unhealthy weight management behaviours, i.e. fasting, vomiting & using laxatives, anabolic steroids, muscle-building supplements and diet pills.
Among 1,801 participants, 40% of women and 55% of men mentioned that they have joined dating apps. In this group, 51% of men and women state that they have used fasting to manage their weight; 20% of women and 22% of men maintain that they would vomit for weight management. 25% of women and 39% of men claim that they have used laxatives in the previous three months. As a matter of fact, men on dating apps are more likely than women to use supplements and steroids to build up their muscles quickly.
This important study also indicates that people from ethnic minorities have much higher rates of unhealthy weight control behaviours. Further analysis reveals that individuals from ethnic minorities have to work harder in order to stand out from the crowd and succeed in life because we live in a Western-dominated world (I also hope that is not true because I hope everyone is equal, but that is just the unpleasant realism); as a consequence, people from ethnic minorities may choose much more aggressive weight management methods in order to look more attractive on dating apps as well.
* Body confidence is the ultimate solution to body image issues.
Researchers argue that maybe individuals in this study were already engaging in unhealthy weight management behaviours before they joined dating apps, but what really concerns researchers is the use of these appearance-focused dating apps can exacerbate unhealthy weight control behaviours. Obviously, more research needs to be conducted in order to find out how dating apps actually influence people’s health and well-being.
Of course, not everyone who uses unhealthy weight management behaviours has an eating disorder; however, these behaviours might contribute to the development of illnesses for those who are vulnerable and could prevent recovery for individuals who are unwell. One of the researchers says, “We do acknowledge the fact that there isn’t a causal link between unhealthy weight control behaviours and dating apps. Nonetheless, dating app users would be well-advised to find helpful resources or support if they are at risk of eating disorders. More importantly, dating app users probably need more body confidence – that’s the best way to deal with this issue, in my opinion.”
* How to build body confidence and stay confident:
There are three layers of confidence. Please let me explain.
Firstly, you can boost your external confidence by paying more attention to your grooming. You can begin to seriously look after your appearance right now. I understand that may cost some money, but there are many ways to get a good result without spending too much money. For example, you can analyse your finances carefully and identify some useless things that cost you money (maybe you don’t even watch TV and you are paying for TV programmes every month; you must cancel the magazine subscription if you don’t even have time to read the gossip magazine). Now it’s time to stop paying for these useless items and start spending money wisely – let’s say those meaningless things cost you £70 per month – now you can use £50 to invest in your grooming and still save £20 per month. I think this is an intelligent move. As I see it, the No. 1 action you should take is to get a new hairstyle because modern psychology implies that your hair is the first thing that people will notice when they meet you. You can consult with a hair stylist in a high-end salon and then get the specific hairstyle recommended by them in a relatively cheap salon. Next, you may upgrade your wardrobe. Your clothes don’t need to be expensive, but they have to be right (Think H&M). Further, you might want to use better skin-care products and high-quality makeup so that your face will have a natural glow.
Secondly, your lifestyle influences your weight in many ways & this is the second layer of confidence, i.e. lifestyle confidence. If you stay up late at night, you are much more likely to eat a lot in the evening, which isn’t helpful in this respect. Thus, you probably need to change your schedule a bit and try to go to bed earlier. People like Tom Bilyeu and Kate Northrup actually go to bed before 9pm every night & they are successful, happy and healthy. Also, you will benefit from having an active lifestyle by enjoying healthy hobbies such as dancing and playing a sport. You don’t have to go to the gym if you don’t like it. Statistics show that loneliness may lead to unhealthy weight control behaviours, too. Therefore, you’d better find more friends no matter if you use dating apps or not. Ten years ago, online dating was a taboo topic, but today it has certainly become very mainstream (if not the only way to meet someone suitable).
Thirdly, your core confidence is your internal confidence. By that I mean when you love yourself unconditionally, you become invincible, thereby staying confident. Now you may wonder how that can be done. Well, it’s simple, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. From my point of view, the best way to build core confidence is to nurture your inner world by reading books, seeing films and having new experiences that educate, entertain and enlighten you. The average person only has about 30,000 days in this world, so every moment is very important. It is said that spending money on stuff is less satisfying than spending money on experiences because when you invest in having new experiences in life, you become happier (the happiness brought by exciting experiences last much longer than the happiness brought by new stuff). Interestingly, a well-known psychologist once said, “Psychology can only treat symptoms of mental illnesses, whilst art, literature and religion can cure the root cause of mental illnesses.” Frankly, that doesn’t mean everyone must become religious. But it does mean that when you nurture your inner world, you grow true love for yourself inside you. In this way, you are able to build core confidence (AKA internal confidence). Remember: your good looks probably won’t stay there forever because youth and beauty don’t last for a long period of time, but nobody can take your core confidence away from you without your permission.
Body confidence is built by a healthy lifestyle, a positive mindset and a rich inner world.