Fix your toxic feed
Instagram to make you feel better about yourself
As body image researchers, we have been worried about social media for a while now. UK research has found that instagram is the social media platform with the most negative impact, and specifically decreases body image.
It's also a good idea to ditch the #fitspiration- Recent research has also confirmed that viewing fitspiration leads to increases in body dissatisfaction, and is worse for body image than viewing idealised thin images. In some studies, participants reported that fitspiration inspired them to exercise, but this did not translate into increases in exercise behaviour.
In contrast, viewing images of average-sized models has been found to enhance body appreciation, or positive body image. Evaluations of media campaigns that use real women of all sizes, such as This Girl Can, and #jointhemovementointhemovement found that these campaigns increased appearance satisfaction, and intentions to exercise.
So how can you enjoy your instagram without the negative effects? We suggest 5 people to follow that still post pretty pictures, without the damaging messages.
1. @BodyImageMovement : Taryn Brumfit, Director of the documentary Embrace is such an inspirational human. Follow this feed for a good dose of body lovin' and the latest on this global movement.
2. @Activetruth It's great to see an activewear company declare itself a 'photoshop free zone', stock a range of sizes, and actually show images of diverse body sizes! Follow for pretty activewear and diverse bodies.
3. @mirrormovementmum: This inspired mamma has a lovely feed full of body positivity, and some new online courses to boost body image.
4. @hi.ur.beautiful: A gorgeous collection of really lovely body positive memes
5. @bodyconfidentmums: Yep, this is us- follow for posts about body positivity for mums, latest research findings, and the behind the scenes action as we continue to investigate body image in mums, and determine the best ways to boost body confidence!
Follow, engage, and let us know- does this help you??
Zali Yager is the Co-Founder of Body Confident Mums, a research collaboration that aims to explore body image during motherhood, to empower mums to improve their own mental health, and to make system-wide changes to media, marketing and maternal care. Zali is also the Director of Well Researched, a startup that empowers researchers to enhance their engagement and impact.