Weight Bias in Social Media

Social media platforms are booming and are having a huge impact on the younger generation. Social media has made it easier than ever to communicate with people from all over the world and keep everyone up-to-date on the new and exciting aspects of your life. Unfortunately, these platforms can attract cyberbullies as they are able to write and say hurtful things all from behind a screen.

With the ability to remain anonymous through social media and post from behind a screen, cyberbullying and weight bias have become popular amongst social media platforms.

Weight Bias, Body-shaming and Cyberbullying

Through social media, cyberbullying can be made visible to hundreds of people and remains very permanent and public in most circumstances. One of the most common forms of cyberbullying is body shaming which perpetuates weight bias.

While weight bias is damaging to everyone, weight bias on social media mainly affects the younger generation with 94% of teenage girls reporting that they have been body-shamed on social media.¹ Nearly 50% of people who are bullied on social media are bullied because of their weight.²

Bullying through social media usually comes in the form of hateful comments or memes.

What is a Meme?


An internet meme is an idea, behavior or style that is spread via the internet. These are spread, normally, through social media platforms and are used for humorous purposes. While most memes are meant to be funny or relatable, some can be hurtful and offensive. Most of the time, internet memes about weight exhibit weight bias.

The Effects of Weight Bias in Social Media

Bullying people because of their weight on social media has lasting effects. Not only can bullying affect their mental health, but it can affect their physical health too. Whether it be an internet meme or a directly hurtful comment about someone’s weight, things said and posted on the internet can have lasting effects:

Due to cyberbullying³…..

    • 41% of people say that they developed social anxiety
    • 37% of people say they developed depression
    • 26% of people say they had suicidal thoughts
    • 25% of people engaged in self-harm
    • 20% of people started skipping class
    • 14% of people developed an eating disorder


Blocking users on social media or deleting your social media can be an effective way to avoid cyber bullying for some, but not all.

It’s important that children, adolescents and parents are armed with helpful resources to fight against cyberbullying. Visit the below sites to find online resources, hotlines and other information that can help anyone fight against cyberbullying!

1. “Social Media: Cyberbullying, Body Shaming and Trauma.” https://caclapeer.org/social-media-cyberbullying-body-shaming-and-trauma/.
2. “Bullying and Body Image.”https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/eating-disorder/bullying-and-body-image.
3. “All the Latest Cyberbullying Statistics and What They Mean In 2021.” https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/cyber-bullying-statistics.
4. “Life is like a box of chocolates.” It doesn’t last as long for fat people. http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3oshe7
5. “Obesity doesn’t run in your family. No one runs in your family.” https://me.me/i/obesity-doesnt-run-in-your-family-nobody-runs-in-your-2426554

What can I do to #StopWeightBias ?

1. Ask yourself if you hold negative opinions about people with excess weight. If so, remember obesity is a complex disease with multiple causes including genetic, biological, and other noncontrollable factors.

2. Challenge people who express negative opinions about people with excess weight.

3. Be Part of the Solution. With your help, we can build a better world, free of weight bias. We deserve a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Join the movement to Stop Weight Bias!
Click Here to Get Started!