Social media can affect an individual’s self-image, self-confidence, and perception of their self-worth. Individuals can be impacted positively or negatively based on what they choose to believe. Even before the rise of social media, societal beauty standards have been prevalent. They can be found in magazines, music, photographs, and now social media. There is no denying that the increase of social media use has influenced negative self-perception.
One social media influencer who has been dismantling these standards is Bethanie Garcia. Bethanie started her blog, The Garcia Diaries, in 2014 as a creative outlet for writing, photography and her musings on motherhood. Since launching, The Garcia Diaries has transformed into an inclusive platform for women and a true “diary” of Bethanie and family.
Bethanie’s blog has a “body positivity” section where readers can go to feel empowered in their own body. In a post titled, “Sexy At Every Size || WomenIRL Photo Series” Bethanie reveals that, “Once I started my journey towards self-love and body positivity, there was a huge shift in my mentality. I started loving my body, appreciating my body, seeing my body for what it was”.
Bethanie has been a social media influencer that people of all identities can look to as an example. She is transparent of her struggles and how she has been able to work through them, which has been a powerful tool for her readers that are going through similar situations.
Although sometimes this is easier said than done, here are some ways to begin your self-love journey.
Remove influencer accounts from your feed that make you feel bad about your body
Research shows time and time again that the exposure of unattainable body types can cause negative self-perception. To ensure that you are ready to begin your journey of self-love you need to cleanse your social media of any accounts that lower your self-esteem.
Practice saying self-love statements
When you think highly of yourself, you are more likely to nurture your well-being and make life choices that benefit you. Just by practicing self-love statements can form a better relationship with your mind, body, and soul.
Stop judging other people’s bodies
For you to find peace and love within your own body, you need to stop judging people based on theirs. Once you begin realizing other people’s worth is not based on their appearance, it will become easier to apply this to your own self-worth.
Appreciate all of the things your body lets you do
Take a step back and realize all the amazing things your body lets you do. Whether that be taking a stroll in the park, breathing, digesting food, or just simply keeping you alive.
Exercise to feel good and be healthy
Find a form of movement that makes your body feel good. This can make you appreciate the way your body can move, without battering it down to an “ideal” shape. Exercising is a natural way to increase mood, energy, combat health conditions, and promote better sleep.
Surround yourself with uplifting people
It is important to surround yourself with positive people who recognize your importance for who you are as a person, not what you look like. By having people in your life that love you, it is easier to fall in love with yourself.
Scrap the calorie counting and the scale
Calorie counting overlooks nutritional value. You could be eating something “low calorie” and not fueling your body with the nutrients it needs. Calorie counting also causes you to ignore your body’s wants and needs. Our body sends signals to our brain to let us know when we are hungry, and if you ignore these signals it can become routine to over or under-eat.
Do something good for yourself once a day
Get into the habit of doing something good for your body everyday. This can look like giving yourself a face mask, writing an empowering message on your mirror, or ending the day with a nice warm bath. Just by getting into a ritual of celebrating your body each day can make you appreciate it even more.
Meditation can transform the perception you have created of yourself. It can help you navigate through negative and harsh thoughts you have about yourself.
Follow influencer accounts with similar body types
When scrolling through social media it is uplifting to see other people that look like you. If you feel there is a place to go to find comfort in the representation of your body, you have the power to alter your perception of what makes a beautiful body.
At the end of the day, we only have one body, so it is our own responsibility to take care of it. Disregard all of the negative background noise. Self-love isn’t something that will appear overnight, but by just devoting your time to practicing these steps you are ready to begin the process.
Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Alice Wholey.