In the Covid era, we’re spending more time on social media than ever. The question is: Are you following social media accounts that are good for your body image?
While I have overcome most of my body insecurities, they still come up. And here’s the thing I’ve noticed: More often than not, they come up based on what I see on social media.
The other day, I was doing research for a lingerie article and started researching influencer accounts. I saw an adorable bra on one account and looked it up, thinking I’d like to purchase it. However, the bra didn’t come in my band size.
My mind immediately began a song and dance that was anything but productive. (You know exactly what I’m talking about. And yes, it happens to me too.) I immediately shot down those negative thoughts, but that’s because I’ve done a lot of work over the past few years to change how I deal with thoughts about my body.
These kinds of thoughts affect most of us, but we’re often unaware of it. Before we know it, a small seed of body doubt has been planted. The more we see pictures and posts that fuel this doubt, the more we struggle with body positivity.
Add that to the fact that parts of the plus-size movement are conditioning us to think that just one or two body types are the ideal body types in our world.
The key to getting around this is to make the accounts you follow broad. I have an apple body type, so I actively search out influencers with the same body type as mine. Seeing people who look like I do helps me to create a positive, accepting mental space. Of course, I still follow my favorite hourglass and pear girls. I just make sure to add a little apple spice to the mix.
The other thing I do is actively ask myself four questions when it comes to anyone I follow — plus-size or not.
- Is this account healthy for my body image?
You’d be surprised as to how many people never think about whether a social media account is good for their body image. It’s not natural to automatically question this, but you should.
- Does anything on this account make me feel like I’m not “enough?”
Influencers affect all of us differently. One influencer may affect me positively, but have the opposite effect on you. The bottom line is that if you find yourself getting into negative thinking patterns based on what you see, this person is not the best fit for you.
- Do I compare myself to this person in an unhealthy way?
I talk to women all day long. The biggest place these women report experiencing body comparison struggles is on social media. Be aware of this trap. If you find yourself comparing your body to an influencer in a negative way, this is again not a good fit for you.
- Does this influencer encourage me to love and accept my body just as it is?
At Curvicality, we’re all about body acceptance. Take this into your social media life. Follow influencers who encourage you to love yourself as you are.
Asking these four questions takes the power and puts it back in your hands. This is the first step to becoming “media literate,” as the big dogs call it. You’re making the choice to think about the types of social media you’re consuming and how they affect you.
So be conscious of what you put in your head. Choose social media that’s good for you. This may sound vanilla, but trust me, it makes a world of difference. It’s one of the most important body image tools I’ve learned in my pursuit of positive body image.
Remember this: Negative thoughts about your body are like a thief in the night. They silently creep in. They’re gone before you know it, but the impact lasts. Arm yourself.