Social media is very present in our everyday lives, and many spend hours mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and posting on their accounts. Social media has many advantages, such as connecting and interacting with friends and family and getting updates on other people’s lives, but have you ever thought about the downsides of social media and wondered if all these posts could have an impact on how you viewed yourself?
The link between social media and body image
Many researchers have investigated the link between social media use and body image. In fact, while we are scrolling through social media, we tend to compare ourselves to people; even if it is not what we mean to do, we tend to do it subconsciously. Research has shown that women tend to compare themselves to celebrities and distant peers or acquaintances, rather than to family and friends. Truly, this comparison is what impacts body image negatively, lowers people’s self-esteem, and ruins people’s relationships with food and their bodies.
Some of our clients have found it very helpful to unfollow certain accounts or hide posts that made them reflect negatively about themselves. For example, if your news feed is filled with very thin women, very muscular men, or accounts that use filters and retouch all their photos, it is only natural that you will judge yourself based on these unrealistic body standards. Not only can it be important to rid yourself of those negative expectations but also to fill it up with realistic ones. This is why we suggest following new accounts, ones that will expose you to body diversity.
Several Instagram accounts to help spruce up your news feed
Theintuitive_rd: This account is run by Kristen Ackerman, a registered dietitian who is a certified intuitive eating counselor and who has a goal of helping you make peace with food and your body. Her Instagram page is filled with short videos and posts addressing everything ranging from nutritional myths and common thoughts to tips to help guide you toward eating more intuitively and having a better relationship with food and your body
Thebodypositive: This account represents The Body Positive, an anti-diet non-profit that helps people overcome conflicts with their bodies to lead happier lives. Their Instagram page celebrates all body types and promotes self-love to make you feel better about yourself.
Yrfatfriend: This account is run by Aubrey Gordon, an activist who fights for fat acceptance and talks about anti-fat bias. She guides you on what not to say to fat people and talks about ways we could fight for fat acceptance.
Dietitiananna: This account is run by Anna Sweeney, an anti-diet registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders and in intuitive eating who posts body image quotes, eating disorder recovery tips, and nutritional facts. Her goal is to help people embrace their body and show them how their body and food supports life.
Nonairbrushedme: This account is a raw, diverse, and inclusive one that focuses on body acceptance and positivity. It helps people embrace their beauty by posting raw and unedited pictures of women to prove that pictures we normally see online don’t show the real side of people, but actually edited and embellished versions of themselves.
Accounts that may interest teens
Bodyimagewithbri: This account is run by Bri Campos, a body image educator and fat activist who uses her platform to teach people about body acceptance and to help people maneuver negative body image thoughts, and have more food freedom. She has a goal of helping people make peace with their bodies and help them get over their critical self-talk and body hatred, which she defines as body grieving.
Rachaelhartleyrd: This account is run by Rachael Hartley, a non-diet dietitian who talks about and educates people about intuitive eating and how it’s different from diet culture. Her goal is to help people make peace with their bodies, have a positive body image, and have a better relationship with food by talking about nutrition and diet myths.
Antidietriotclub: The Anti Diet Riot Club is a nonprofit organization that aims to rebel against diet culture. Their Instagram account focuses on diet-culture myths and why diets don’t work long-term. It also focuses on body positivity and speaks up about fatphobia and has a goal of helping people have a better relationship with their bodies and with food.
Breelenehan: Bree Lenehan is a content creator who promotes self-love, and body positivity, and advocates against unrealistic beauty standards. A thing I particularly love about her account is that every Monday, she posts side-by-side pictures of edited Instagram pictures vs real and raw pictures of her to show people that pictures we see on social media do not represent reality.
In addition to all of these accounts, Sööma has its own Instagram account where we share body-positive affirmation quotes, facts about eating disorders and so much more! So make sure you add us to your list of Instagram accounts to follow.
Wrapping it up
As you can see, there are so many Instagram accounts that focus on body positivity and fight unrealistic beauty standards. So It’s time to unfollow all (or almost all) of the accounts that make you feel bad about yourself and follow the accounts above or similar accounts that aim to make you feel better about yourself and to higher your self-esteem. If you think that your negative body image could lead to an eating disorder, make sure to seek professional help, before it becomes bad, by calling (202) 738-4726 or sending us an email at email@example.com. Remember, your body will change many times in your lifetime, and that’s okay. Your worth does not depend on how you look, so don’t let your body stop you from doing things!
By: Mia El-Eid, Digital Marketing Coordinator
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Sööma is a bilingual company that operates in both English and in French. We will provide blog posts, recipes and articles from various sources that are sometimes written in English and sometimes in French. If you feel unable to access a specific article or topic due to a language barrier, please reach out to us at email@example.com and we will be happy to translate the content for you.
- Fardouly, J., & Vartanian, L. R. (2016). Social media and body image concerns: Current research and future directions. Current Opinion in Psychology, 9, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.09.005
- Saiphoo, A. N., & Vahedi, Z. (2019). A meta-analytic review of the relationship between social media use and body image disturbance. Computers in Human Behavior, 101, 259–275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.07.028