How to use social media to improve your body image
In a society that makes it so hard to love your body, you can’t just follow anyone on social media.
Some social media accounts help boost your body confidence, some accounts do the opposite.
Even if you’ve been hating your body for years, a few simple strategies can help you love your body more (without deleting Instagram).
3 steps to body confidence with social media:
Step 1. Stop using the ‘explore’ tab on Instagram
The ‘explore’ tab on Instagram (identified by the magnifying glass) is supposedly meant to show you things that ‘you may like’.
In reality, the ‘explore’ tab shows you weight-loss before and after photos, bikini models and the unattainable (and often photoshopped) highlights reel.
You can get sucked into an Instagram vortex, emerge hours later, not realising that your body and self-confidence has taken a hit.
Stop using the ‘explore’ function on Instagram.
Try it for a week and see if it makes a difference.
Body image aside, the explore tab is the biggest time suck of all. Why not try using social media less? Check your screen time stats in the settings of your phone to see how many hours you spend on which apps in a day. It’s fascinating and eye-opening.
Here’s a screenshot from my ‘explore’ tab on Instagram from today. Even though I don’t follow any accounts like this, because I’m interested in health, this is what the search engine assumes ‘health’ looks like.
Step 2. Unsubscribe from all the social media accounts that make you feel unworthy
Do a social media detox and unsubscribe from anyone posting content that makes you feel not good enough. It’s the only detox I recommend!
Many accounts on social media reinforce the message that:
a) You have to be slim to be healthy
b) You must be beautiful to be happy
c) Your life isn’t good enough (but if you buy these products, it may be).
The more time you spend on these accounts, the more self-conscious you become. You become less productive (’cause you just wasted 2 hours scrolling) and perpetually feel like you’re never good enough, no matter how many new things you buy.
Here are 4 types of social media account you need to unfollow:
Instagram stars who are paid to design an amazing life and photograph it. None of it is real or attainable. Whats the point in making yourself envious and feel bad about your life?
Health influencers who claim to teach you about health but post half their photos are of them in crop tops with inspirational quotes.
People who post before and after photos transformations.
Bikini models who make you feel body conscious and who only show one the perfect life.
Unfollow. Unsubscribe. Turn off notifications.
You may find your ‘explore tab’ will also become less of a comparison trap.. and you may be able to use it again once you do this cleanse.
Step 3. Follow more social media accounts that boost body confidence.
By following more body positive accounts, you’re filling your feed with daily reminders that health is not one size.
You are reminded that you can feel good, confident and beautiful in your healthy, non-model body.
You build body confidence when the daily reminders to love your body outnumber the daily reminders to hate your body.
Here’s a list of my favourite body positive social media accounts to follow right now.