Body Image on social media
Let’s talk about social media and body image.
Before this title existed it was magazines and body image.
So the concept instead is not new. Just a new form of a medium. So what… so what? Well the big difference now is that we women, young and old, are now actively part of social media. With magazines it was budding models and TV actors.
Now the two streets means that we are now taking part in the mediumship and posting pictures of ourselves means that the Body Image debacle is magnified. Young girls are more exposed to the selfie and therefore more aware of how they look in photos.
Gone are the days that you would poke your tongue out to a disposable camera and see the picture in a few weeks once it developed from the photo section of Harvey Norman
Therefore, how are we teaching our young girls about body image? Well let's deconstruct this for a second. Body Image is how we perceive our body. We perceive something from our learnt knowledge.
And therefore it comes back to educating girls on the body. Teaching them about their body and having them connect to their body so that they can “perceive their body in a positive way. Thus creating a positive body image.
There are so many ways we can support young girls to have a positive body image and it all links back to. I want to dive deeper into this issue and present some tips to help us all.
The compare and despair of social media
It's part of human nature to compare ourselves to another person. However, we want to limit the amount as much as possible.
One of the best things we can do is limit the information we are digesting. Have a think about what you consume daily.
Just like removing the junk food from your cupboard. Limit the magazines, reality TV shows, unfollow anyone on social media who makes you feel like you need to change. This is a really good exercise to do, notice how you FEEL when you open up someone's social media page.
There are some beautiful soul influencers that whenever I read their post I feel like I should be doing more. It actually has nothing to do with them.
I am sure they are wonderful humans living their life. It's about me and what I am digesting and absorbing when I am on social media.
We forget sometimes that we have the power to choose what we digest not only via the food we eat but the images that we can limit ourselves from seeing on a daily basis.
How to have a more positive relationship with social media?
Our relationship with social media can heavily influence our relationship with our own body. So it is important to practice a healthy relationship with social media. Here are some tips to help you build a more positive relationship with social media
Mute or unfollow the “unhealthy” accounts
Be aware of the accounts that trigger you. The ones that leave you feeling unworthy or conscious about your life and body. These are the accounts you should mute or unfollow.
Support and connect with supportive people
Remind yourself of what social media is there for. It is there to be “social”. Use it for good. Connect with people who love and support you and use it to connect with those people.
Be aware of what you share
Be mindful of the content you share and post. Is it just being posted to make people think of you in a certain way? How can you make it more authentic to you? Don’t post to impress others.
Reduce your time on the platforms
Limiting your time on social media is always a healthy thing. It is all about balance in life. When you notice you are in a bad mood or aren’t feeling positive, make sure you reduce your social media time and do what makes you happy.
Always look to have periods of time off social media. Get into nature and have time off.
Tips to help our teenage girls with social media and body image
We know our teenage girls don’t know a world without social media. That is what they have grown up with. So what we can do is help our girls (and ourselves) understand social media. Here is what you should look to do:
Learn the platforms
Unsure you know the platform and understand what content they will be consuming. Being active on the social media platform will help you to better understand the content and how it will be used.
Be curious with what they like
Try to relate to the content they consume and like. This will make you more relatable when they need to turn to you for advice or general conversation of concern.
Be an example
Use the tips and guidance in the previous paragraph about how to have a more positive relationship with social media. To show your teenage girls the best way forward is by showing them a positive relationship with social media.
As mentioned above, you must set boundaries around social media use for yourself and your family. Screen time limits for not just the kids, but for you as well.
Have open communication about what is bothering them and you about the world of social media and how it plays a role in all your lives.
Lead by example. Not just for everyone else but for yourself. When you take time off social media and use it as a positive outlet, it helps to create a better energy for yourself and others around you in regards to social media.
Work on the mindset stuff (meditation, journaling, practicing your BodyMantra). It is all about embodying your intention to have a more positive body image and practising a healthy relationship by being aware of how you use social media.