When boredom strikes and after a few quick clicks, we find ourselves exploring the abyss of social media. As minutes expand into hours and all sense of time becomes warped, we have consumed thousands of meaningless words, advertisements, and images. Little do we realize, the content that we have so mindlessly absorbed has tremendous influence over our self-image, confidence, and baseline thoughts. Similar to the way that viewing physical violence in the media increases aggression in adults and children, repeatedly exposing ourselves to bodies that are edited-to-perfection may take a toll on our mental health. Even though we may be aware of Instagram’s algorithm of unrealistic success and beauty ideals, it’s difficult not to compare ourselves when that is all we are being exposed to on a daily basis. No matter how detrimental these effects may be, it’s unrealistic to ask ourselves to delete our Instagram accounts forever. When it comes down to it, social media has become a way of life and an important source of networking and communication. Instead, we should take time to reflect on these absurd standards in order to increase our awareness. Our social feeds cyclically influence our thoughts and emotions in an endless spiral of self-comparison. To help stop this trend, it’s important to follow accounts that uplift and inspire you. Here are some of my favourite:
@Planetprudence is an independent freelance artist whose wholesome comics are designed to give us a motivational boost. Her artwork normalizes our bodies – stretch marks, hip dips and all. She has a quirky way of highlighting expectations versus reality. When the majority of the bodies we consume are modelled and edited images, our brains may be tricked into thinking that there is something wrong with the skin we are wearing. Our normal bodies are worthy, loved, and beautiful just as they are.
From setting personal boundaries to tips on practising internal validation, @thebraincoach offers thoughtful posts to help you do some inner work and reflection. What I admire most about this page is that Nawal offers practical tips on how to practise adaptive self-talk and work through “negative” feelings. As I’m scrolling through my feed, these posts remind me to take a minute to check-in with myself throughout the day.
I once read a quote that went something like, “the creative process is an authentic encounter with reality that allows us to actualize our hidden potentials.” We don’t need to be “a creative” to appreciate artistic beauty. @Otherperspectives offers images that challenge our current perception of the world. Drawing, painting, and simply engaging is the creative process that allows us to engage with our inner child. Nothing matters in that mindful moment of creating except for the image on your canvas.
An intersectional feminist page that uses its platform to bring about important discussions about reproductive rights, mental health, the black lives matter movement, LGBT2Q+ advocacy, and other world issues.
Historical narratives are the products of biopower. The many stories that explore the great philosophers, psychologists, and world heroes were written by those who had the most privilege in society during that period of time. More often than not, these narratives were written by white middle-class men about white middle-class men. @feminist.herstory provides counternarratives that explore the great accomplishments of historically marginalized individuals and allow their voices to be heard.