June 1, 2017
Off the back of a recent study by the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health called #StatusofMind, everyone’s talking about how social-media apps affect our mental health. Mashable’s even done an article on how to protect yourself!
Out of the five social platforms, Instagram had the greatest negative impact on the 14 to 23-year-olds in the survey, while YouTube was the only app to receive a marginally net positive rating. The results found that issues like anxiety, depression, body image, bullying, and fear of missing out (FOMO) far exceeded the constructive sides to social media, such as community building and self-expression. There was also a link with frequent use and high levels of mental-health illnesses, with the experts calling for pop-up warnings or disclaimers when a photo has been manipulated or altered.
It wasn’t clear how the platforms would implement this across all user-generated content, instead the study emphasized that the responsibility would need to begin with ‘fashion brands, celebrities and other advertising organizations.’
Meanwhile, Royal College of Psychiatrists president Sir Simon Wessely told CNN: ‘We need to teach children how to cope with all aspects of social media – good and bad – to prepare them for an increasingly digitized world. There is a real danger in blaming the medium for the message.’
From the online community to the corporations, users have been pushing for change for a while. Hello Giggles even posted a call to arms two years ago: ‘As the future leaders and innovators of our generation, we must shape the world in which we want to live. I want to live in a world where… everyone is supported and celebrated for the unique perspective they bring to the discussion.’
In celebration of that spirit, here are some of our favorite inspirational social-media stars encouraging us all to improve self-image online…
Tia Ward Tackles Dealing With Anxiety
You’re likely already a fan of @misstpw’s makeup tutorials and seriously cool style, but did you catch her impressively honest video account on dealing with anxiety? She talks through everything from the beginnings of her negative thoughts to how important her female friendship network have been. They provided her support and help to get her through the slow process to feeling more confident and calm.
Em Ford’s Proud of Her Pale Skin
The London-based Beauty blogger is an advocate for makeup as ‘a powerful tool to help boost self-esteem… It’s also fun, too! So throw out the rulebook, and try something new – it doesn’t matter how silly, extreme, or colorful it is. The beauty of it is, it comes off in an instant.’ Let’s not forget her moving You Look Disgusting video, plus the positive captions that come with her Instagram pics.
Revisit Rachel Levin’s I am Ugly Video
Back in September 2016 when she was best known for her beauty how-tos, Rachel aka Rclbeauty101 posted this creative video in which she meets and is unable to voice her negative talk in front of her younger self. The powerful message caught on quick and has now racked up well over 7 million views on YouTube.
Nikkie Tutorials’ The Power of Makeup
Fed up of feeling like wearing a lot of makeup came with certain assumptions – ‘You do it to look good for boys, you do it because you’re insecure or you do it because you don’t love yourself’ – Nikkie applied her MUA skills in this assertive video to reclaim her beauty transformation as something that’s for fun, for herself and nothing to be ashamed of.
Join Jacob Tobia’s Body Beauty Revolution
The #TransTrender model, activist and writer has long been an advocate for promoting positive self-image and affirmation, regardless of body type or gender. He’s most recently taken a stand by posting a self-portrait in his underwear. ‘I wanted people to see my body,’ Jacob explains, ‘to see how beautiful and sexy and cute it is. I wanted to take something that hurt me and, by the alchemy of social media, transform it into something that empowers all of us.’
Share your experience with self-image and social media in the comments!
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