Often these pictures do not represent how these indivi

duals look in real life without the posing, the filters, the photoshopping and the professional hair and make-up,” Martz said.

Pan, the Renmin University researcher, also believes that pi

ctures shared frequently on social media impose peer pressure on women.

“If people around you look thin on WeChat Moments, you are inevi

tably anxious to fit the general profile of having the ‘right look’,” she said.

Articles have also gone viral in summer on WeChat Moments, with sensational headlines such as “Good-looking girls never

weigh more than 50 kilograms” or “If you don’t lose weight in May, you will cry out loud in June”.

Shen Zijiao, a psychological consultant at Beijing Normal University, said: “Women don’t know what kind of beauty is best for th

em; they just thumb through their phone screens and get the notions of ‘being slender’ consciously or uncons

ciously. They always worry if their bodies are inconsistent with the so-called perfect body shape.”

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