How does social media impact your body image and self esteem?
Have you ever thought to yourself, “is Instagram bad for my body image?”
I know I have.
In fact, I’ve gone through and unfollowed every account that makes me feel insecure, critical, or doubtful of my self worth.
I think sometimes we tell ourselves if we can look at pictures of super models and not get insecure, we’re somehow more confident than those who can’t.
To me, that’s just asking for trouble.
If you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned.
So instead of getting as close as you can to the flames, why not surround yourself with security?
Here’s a few things to think about when it comes to Instagram and your body confidence.
I got an email the other week from a woman struggling with insecurities.
She said if she doesn’t get likes on her social media pictures, she feels bad for even posting something and deletes it.
She also felt like guys only want to date pretty girls, and since her friends are all more attractive than her, she can never get a boyfriend.
This made my heart break, because I know exactly how she feels.
If you’re posting pictures online in order to get validation from other people, you need to stop right now.
That’s not the purpose of social media.
That’s a shallow, insecure way to use an incredible tool that can connect you to literally everyone in the world in 2 seconds.
Instead of posting for validation, post to connect with people you love.
Whenever I’m about to post something, I ask myself, would I still post this if I got ZERO likes and comments?
If no one cared about this at all, would I still care enough to put it out there?
And if the answer is yes, I post. If the answer is no, I rethink my intentions a little bit.
It’s true that it’s hard not to compare your account to other’s online.
You want followers, likes, attention, validation, and that feeling of self worth that comes from being accepted by your peers.
It’s the same thing this woman was looking for in a boyfriend, someone to choose her and make her feel like the pretty one.
Well, guess what? Instagram doesn’t matter.
Comparing yourself against people is only going to make you wish you had what they’ve got instead of feel thankful for the gifts you have.
It’s like when you get a new car, you’re really excited about it! Until you see someone else has a newer model, then you think yours isn’t so great.
Why not focus on what you have instead of what other people have?
Unfollow accounts that makes you doubt yourself.
Now, I’m not saying you should only follow people and accounts that enable you to be lazy, unhealthy, or a jerk.
Sometimes people take this idea of self love to the extreme and plaster an excuse of “that’s who I am, and I LOVE ME” whenever they’re doing something stupid.
Obviously, that’s not what I’m getting at.
For my fellow perfectionists, overachievers, and control freaks… this is for you.
It’s okay to be where you’re at.
You’re allowed to be imperfect.
There’s a difference between healthy motivation and comparing yourself to an unrealistic expectation of beauty, motherhood, fitness, income, etc.
Wherever you are, you can be equally satisfied with what you have AND still working towards improving and wanting more.
I’m all about balance.
I believe the secret to happiness is finding your balance. Understand yourself and what you need, take cues from people who are successful in the areas you’re struggling with, and always look to the Bible for truth when you’re feeling lost.
Rebekah Buege is a body confidence coach helping strong women process critical thoughts and heal insecurities.
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