Ah, social media…whether you love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. According to statista.com, 81% of Americans have at least one social media profile. So the majority of people in our country have jumped on the social media bandwagon and joined Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms in order to connect with other people and be a part of an online community. There are definitely a lot of positive aspects of social media, but are you being affected negatively? Does Instagram make you feel fat?
Negative Body Image
Most women have dealt with negative body image issues at some point in their lives. It is probably also true that many have taken part in body shaming….you know, telling your friend that your thighs are so fat, or complaining to your co-worker that your butt is too big. Sound familiar? This is enough of an issue by itself, but add social media into the mix, and this self-sabotage can be taken to a whole new level.
On social media sites, women who are thin and toned tend to post pictures of themselves more than women who are heavier. So if you happen to be a woman who is say a size 10, and you’re trolling along on Instagram, chances are you will see multiple pictures of size 2 women, possibly in skimpy, revealing clothing. After seeing these kinds of pictures over and over every day for a period of time, there is a good chance that you will start to feel bad about yourself, no matter hoe confident you are.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a size 10. But Instagram will make you feel like there is. This may sound petty, but this can lead to some serious problems if you let it get out of hand. Once you feel bad about yourself, you could spiral into depression. You may decide to go on an extreme diet and/or start exercising like crazy. Neither of these options are healthy ways to lose weight. Plus if you do something extreme and restrict calories too much, you are likely to end up bingeing, which starts a vicious cycle of abusing your body and hating yourself even more.
Dealing With the Issue
These are real problems that women don’t talk about much. Most think that it is embarrassing to feel this way about themselves. Keeping these emotions inside can just make the problem worse. If you feel like you hate your appearance and your body, you need to take a step back and think about a few things.
#1 – Unplug
The first thing you probably want to do is unplug. Freeze or delete your social media accounts. If you have to stay on them for whatever reason, it’s time to clean up your friends and who you follow. Anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself has to go. And limit your time on the sites to no more than 20 minutes per day.
#2 – Confide in someone
Next, you need to find someone to talk to. If you have a dear friend or relative that you trust, tell them how you are feeling. Just talking about it can make you feel so much better. If you don’t have someone in your life who you can talk to, then you may want to see a counselor.
#3 – Love it or change it
Now it’s time for some decisions. Are you happy with your body? Are you okay with your weight, size, the way you feel, and your habits? If you truly are, then continue to be yourself. If you are not happy with yourself, then you need to make a plan to change things. And I don’t mean an extreme diet or insane fitness routine. I mean making small changes a little bit at a time so they become a part of your lifestyle for the long haul. Celebrate the small victories and expect setbacks along the way. This is life, and it’s not going to be perfect. YOU do not have to be perfect. See this post to learn how to love your body.
This is my passion. I want to help people become healthier. I want to help people feel good about themselves. And maybe, just maybe, you will find the confidence to post a photo of yourself on Instagram letting the world know how fabulous you feel. Please reach out if you need help. I offer online consultations or consultations by phone. Take care of yourselves.