According to new research by LighterLife, millions of Brits* are unwilling to upload their photos to Facebook because they’re so embarrassed by the way they look.
45% of women surveyed said they would never put ‘fat’ photos online, while 14% of women un-tag themselves in every single photo of them that appears on Facebook. One in ten women admitted to feeling sick when they saw their picture on Facebook and in extreme circumstances 13% avoid being photographed altogether just in case the photos end up on the social networking site.
Sue Dover, Sales and Marketing Director at LighterLife, which carried out the study, said: ”It’s such a shame that people are not choosing to share their Facebook photos, and in extreme circumstances pretending to look like someone they’re not. It’s indicative of the pressure placed on people, particularly young women, in our society to look a certain way that is causing this to happen.”
Faith Johns, a self-confessed de-tagger said, “I often use older photos from when I was a lot slimmer. If I do put up recent pictures then I’ll be careful only to show my face so it’s harder to see my actual size. Being tagged and seeing how big I am has contributed towards me feeling very low about my weight.”
10% of the 2,000 people surveyed by OnePoll admitted putting out-of-date photos online so people think they look as good as they did when they were younger. Interestingly it appears men are more reluctant to give up the past than women. 10% of men were unwilling to put up recent pictures as they were afraid of what old colleagues and friends would say about how much they had changed, in comparison with 6% of women.
One in ten admitted to using a photo of someone else on their social networking profile, like their dog, an avatar or cartoon drawing, to avoid old friends and work mates seeing the ‘real’ them. Whilst one in twenty even admitted to uploading pictures of a better-looking person, like a more attractive friend, to get more attention from the opposite sex.
But it’s not all bad, as 18% only put recent pictures of themselves online to show old friends and work colleagues how much they have changed. And 13% use Facebook to show people how successful their weight loss has been.
Sue added: “On a more positive note it’s reassuring that social media can be used by people to promote their new-found confidence. A lot of our clients at LighterLife comment that our diet has given them a new lease of life and they’re now able to do a lot of the things they weren’t able to do so previously.”