I’ve written before about the malicious effects of social media on women and girls.
We are exposed to hundreds of images related to body image every week. This is not just a case of feeling bad in our own skin, but a case of focusing so much on our skin in the first place.
Outer appearance has confiscated far too much of our time and energy as women. Time that could be spent on our dreams and goals unrelated to physical appearance.
Even though the body-positive movement is a wonderful and admirable thing, I truly believe that the best way to combat negative body image is to eliminate the need to focus on it so much in the first place.
One of the most effective ways we can do this is to see a rise in representation of strong, intelligent, compassionate, caring, empathetic and giving women in the media. Women of all colours, shapes, sizes and abilities.
Only when we shift the dialogue from outer appearance to positive inner characteristics will we be able to let go of the hold the media has on shaping how we feel about ourselves.
(Related: 7 TED Talks that Spark Confidence and Self Love to Radically Transform Your Life)
The Power of Representation
I recently wrote a guest post for Psych Daily that speaks to the importance of proper representation of women in the media.
If you struggle with this or have daughters, please read it. This is a message that needs to be shared!
Who Am I? Why Positive Representation of Women In the Media is Crucial
If you’d like to learn more about the negative consequences of social media and the constant barrage of body image expectations women face, read this post:
5 Body Flaws That Are Actually Totally Normal
To learn about the types self-care, how to set goals and focus on things other than body image, read this comprehensive post:
Self Care: Practices to Reduce Stress, Accomplish Goals, and Benefit the Mind & Body
To learn how to take care of your physical health by setting goals and learning a more rounded approach to healthy, active living, read this bible on adopting a new fitness routine:
I showed my daughters a video of how models are digitally altered in photos. We talked about how most of what we see on tv and in print is changed to what society wants us to see. The before and after images from the video were a big eye-opener for all three of us. What girls today are trying to achieve doesn’t actually exist. What a shame.
What an excellent lesson. I’ve done similar things with my daughters and sons as well. My middle son really doesn’t understand it at all. I should look for a video for a deeper dive into it. Your girls are lucky to have you. I wish I’d had this explained to me as a young girl.
I couldn’t agree more! I graduated college with two degrees, one in Mass Communications and one in Writing and Rhetoric studies. Through my uni experience I learned so much about how rhetoric and media has affected minorities overtime and it truly does have major impacts. Going all the way back to the days of slavery and abolition the speeches that were made and the rhetoric used in major events such as Frederick Douglass’ 4th of July speech. He not only spoke for his people but did it in such a way that gained the respect of white men as well.… Read more »
Well said and very insightful. I agree the images of strong, empowered, intelligent women who are not being objectified need to appeal to everyone and influence everyone on a subconscious level. This is the only way we will be able to progress and be given positions of power/changemakers.
Great read! A big part of my ED recovery was turning off social media!
Really? Wow, that’s very telling. I’m so happy to hear that you’ve recovered. Thank you so much for your kind words.
Body positivity is so important! It’s so sad to see young women constantly comparing themselves to unrealistic celebrities. Great article!