Embrace Your Unique Body: Body image, social media and mental health.

Embrace Your Unique Body: Body image, social media and mental health.

In our digitally driven world, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. While it can offer inspiration, connection, and entertainment, it also has a darker side—particularly when it comes to body image. Constant exposure to idealised, often unrealistic representations of beauty can lead to unhealthy comparisons and a distorted self-image. However, by adopting mindful habits, we can use social media in ways that support a positive body image and mental well-being.

Understanding the Impact of Social Media on Body Image

Social media platforms are saturated with images of seemingly perfect bodies, often edited and filtered to portray an unattainable standard of beauty. These images can create a false sense of reality, leading us to compare our bodies unfavourably to those we see online. This comparison trap can result in negative self-perception, low self-esteem, and even disordered eating habits. Recognising the impact of these unrealistic portrayals is the first step towards healthier social media use.

Healthy Habits for Positive Body Image on Social Media

  1. Curate Your Feed for Body Positivity
Follow Body Positive Influencers: Seek out and follow accounts that promote body positivity and diversity. Influencers who embrace their natural bodies and encourage self-love can inspire you to do the same. Zach Miko, Vicky Pattison, Matt Joseph Diaz, Jessamyn Stanley, Nicola Johnston and Katie Mackie of Mackie’s Moments are all fantastic body positive advocates.

Unfollow or Mute Negative Influences: If certain accounts make you feel inadequate or unhappy with your body, it’s okay to unfollow or mute them. Your mental health should always come first.

  1. Set Healthy Boundaries

Limit Screen Time: Designate specific times for social media use and avoid endless scrolling. Your phone’s screen time settings can help you track and limit your usage.

Create a Social Media Schedule: Balance your online time with offline activities that promote physical and mental well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones.


  1. Engage Mindfully

Be Selective with Content: Engage with content that makes you feel good about yourself. Share posts that reflect your values and contribute to positive conversations about body image.

Avoid Comparison: Remember that social media is often a highlight reel. Focus on your own journey and achievements rather than comparing yourself to others.

  1. Practice Self-Compassion and Gratitude

Daily Affirmations: Start your day with positive affirmations about your body. Remind yourself of your strengths and the unique qualities that make you who you are.

Gratitude Journals: Keep a journal where you write down things you are grateful for about your body. This practice can shift your focus from criticism to appreciation.

  1. Focus on Real Connections

Engage with Supportive Communities: Join online communities that promote body positivity and self-love. These groups can provide encouragement, support, and a sense of belonging.

Nurture Offline Relationships: Ensure you’re also investing time in face-to-face interactions with friends and family who support and uplift you.

  1. Be Aware of Editing and Filters

Recognise Unrealistic Standards: Be aware that many images on social media are edited or filtered. Understand that these portrayals are not reflective of reality.

Embrace Authenticity: Share unfiltered and unedited photos of yourself. Authenticity can inspire others to embrace their natural beauty as well.

Remember, your body is unique and beautiful just the way it is. Celebrate your individuality, embrace your imperfections, and use social media as a platform to spread positivity and self-love. Your mental and physical health are worth it, and so are you.


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