Promoting a Positive View of Self with Social Media While in College

Contributor: By Camille Malecha, MA, LPC, Eating Disorder Specialist, Timberline Knolls

girl-549154_640There are so many ways the media promotes unhealthy messages about what beauty is or how a woman’s body should look through photoshopped and distorted images, marketing for fad diets, and promotion of unhealthy or excessive exercise plans.

The media and society send the message that women are not good enough the way they are and that they need to change. However, the persona, beauty, and body type the media promotes is unattainable and completely distorted.

What messages are you focusing on and listening to? How can you challenge yourself to be surrounded by positive messages? What is your intention in using social media outlets?

Media’s Perception of Women

Society often promotes gender views that women are sex objects, care takers, appearance-focused, weak, emotional, and/or sensitive. Unfortunately, these stereotypes are reinforced through advertisements and social media.

Breaking away from these beliefs and messages can help you discover who you truly are and value your whole self. Being authentic rather than trying to fit a mold can lead to true happiness and satisfaction with self.

Challenge Media That is Destructive

person-402522_640Ditch the magazines that focus on fad diets, celebrity work outs, and are filled with photoshopped images. Delete users on social media sites that you follow who make you feel bad about yourself or feel like you need to change. Set an intention around facebook and notice how you utilize it.

Keep friends who are supportive and promote a positive lifestyle and view of self rather than ones that may be critical and judgmental.

Choose Positive Messages

Sources such as Instagram, twitter, and tumblr can be used in positive or negative ways. Find users that fill your home page with positive message about body and self-image rather than users that may be critical or shame someone into trying to change who they are.

Listen to empowering youtube videos or songs that inspire women to be accepting of themselves and their bodies.

Engage in Activities that Build a Positive Self-image

Make a collage or pinterest board that describes how you see yourself in positive ways using your favorite quotes, message, images, and pictures of yourself. Remind yourself with these messages who you are and what you value about yourself rather than using social media, magazines, and commercials to compare, criticize, and judge yourself.

Being aware and complimentary of strengths and accomplishments can help in carrying out and living by values and in true beauty.

About the Author:

Located in suburban Chicago, Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for females (ages 12 – 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. For more information, call 877.257.9611 today.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Seeing yourself in positive ways is important, what ways have you found to foster a positive body image within yourself?

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 31st, 2015
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