Fuck the Kardashians. Honestly. Fuck them. I used to follow them on instagram. Kim, Khloe, Klyie, Karen, Kansas, Kimmy ,… the entire stupid clan. The reason I don’t follow them anymore is because of how images of these women on my social media feeds would impact my feelings about myself, my appearance and my body. As Amy Schumer asked in her SNL opening monologue, can’t we do better with our female role models than “a whole family of women who take the faces they were born with as a light suggestion?". It's a fair question, and yes, I think we can.
I’m someone who has worked in and studied media theory and production for over a decade. I am fully aware of how images are manipulated. I also understand that advertisements are intentionally designed to make you feel less of a person, resulting in an immediate need for the advertised product. I am absolutely media literate and the images presented to me through digital, tv and print ads still have a strong impact on my self worth. I can’t even begin to think about how the constant feed of altered images and ads impact young kids who accept what they’re seeing as “real life”. However, it's important to note that it's not just about what we see in our feeds, it's also about what we post. In today's technologically advanced society, we're given the option to do extreme edits on our own photos with apps like facetune or spring, furthering this mentality of not being "good enough" the way we are.
Well, eventually after following all the wrong accounts on my social feeds I realized I had had enough. I grew sick and tired of the negative impressions images of highly edited women were having on me. I stopped following each and every one of them and it has truly made all the difference. I call this "Active Social Media Feed Curation". We cannot be passive in our social media engagement. We must identify and analyze how what we're exposing ourselves to makes us feel and respond to those feelings. Ever since I started doing this, I've been able to curate a social feed for myself that boosts my confidence, improves my mood and has actually impacted many aspects of my life like dating.
Do you ever finish your routine Instagram check or Facebook feed scroll feeling kind of jealous, sad and all around down? If so, you may be shocked at how much of a positive mental impact curating your feed can have. So if you are reading this and think "hey, I've felt that way too" at one point, I encourage you to weed out the accounts you follow that leave you feeling bad about yourself. I promise you, you won't regret it! As a source of inspiration, here are a few of my favourite women to follow on social media who give me daily boosts in self confidence. You can click on their photos to access their Instagram accounts.
To sum it up, how I feel about myself is greatly impacted by my social media feed. I know I will never be labeled as "skinny" and I'm pretty sure that according to the antiquated BMI I am “obese”.... but if I surround myself with digital images and video that that make feel more proud of who I am and how I look, then I will continue to do that. It’s important for me to remember I must make an active effort to curate my social media feeds, realizing what makes me feel bad and what improves my mood. Just like everyone, I don’t automatically love my body every day, it is a constant decision of whether I'm going to love myself and fill my mind with positive thoughts or if I'm going to expose myself to unrealistic images that make me feel like I don't measure up. Social media is going to have an impact on how I feel about myself, so why not make this impact a positive one?