Influencers Admit That Instagram Is Bad For Body Image, Mental Health, Study Shows

According to a social media report from Norwegian global influencer marketing platform revealed nearly half (47%) of surveyed influencers felt their job as an influencer had an impact on their mental health and 32% believes the platform gave them a “negative” impact on body image.

The report, #WhitePaper, analyzed data from 10,000 content creators/influencers, 3,000 registered businesses globally which use the company’s platform. Additionally, data from over 12,000 posts of content created since the company’s inception in 2016 and qualitative data from 350 global influencers, who have a combined reach of 9,455,750 followers, were also included in the report.

Marie Mostad, co-founder and COO of, believes that honesty in mental health isn’t going to go away anytime soon as more users are pushing for virtual realness more than ever.

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“Authenticity and ‘realness’ are integral to influencer marketing; it’s the reason people follow influencers that reflect their interests and aspirations (and it is based upon the same reasoning that brands call upon specific influencers for collaborations) so any steps that influencers make in this direction are bound to welcomed,” she told me in an email.Today In: Innovation

Additionally, the platform itself is pursuing more realistic content to share with its users. Recently, Instagram revealed its algorithm prefers content that doesn’t appear to be Photoshopped and has banned “plastic surgery” filters in an attempt to make the platform a healthier environment, particularly for impressionable people.

“As the market leader, Instagram has an even greater responsibility than most to set the standard here. More can be done, of course, and social media platforms certainly aren’t the only driving factor for negative mental health, but it’s encouraging to see them taking some measures to help tackle the issue,” she told me.

While the report shows some influencers themselves believe Instagram holds aspects that negatively affect mental health, Mostad believes the users of the social media platform will be able to shine a light on the perceptions of mental health.

“I see influencers playing a significant role in the destigmatization of mental health within society. With the consumption of social media playing a significant role in affecting people’s mental health, it is only natural that influencers will begin to step up to the plate here. Sharing mental health struggles is just one part of this, actively addressing concerns is the important next step,” she told me.

Tobias Becs, a soccer freestyler with 389,000 followers, expressed a willingness to be open about any mental health topics if he deemed them important enough to share with his audience. In turn, he doesn’t expect any of them to negatively react to his honesty.

“I believe most of my followers would be supportive and would appreciate me sharing my feelings. The reason why I would share my experience would be to give perspective and, hopefully, to help someone with the same feelings,” he told me.

Additional findings of the report, including the average working hours, wages earned, ethics practiced, etc., can be found on their report page here.

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Julia Smith
Julia Smith
Julia Smith is a registered nurse and healthcare writer based out of Arlington, VA. Educating patients on the latest in healthcare news is one of her passions when she is not busy practicing as a nurse.

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