Instagram (and influencer marketing) has been at the end of some very pointed fingers recently. It’s been blamed for exasperating depression, overspending and eating disorders.
A year ago my Instagram feed would have done all these things. Instagram used to be a huge thinspiration tool for me. I would follow the skinniest models, the cleanest eaters (God I hate that term) and the most obsessive gym bunnies. Which, as I’m sure you’ll agree, is very counter-productive when you’re battling an eating disorder.
I would scroll through, torturing myself after I’d eaten or when I felt like I hadn’t done enough exercise. I’d use it to motivate myself to eat less and workout more.
There is nothing wrong with any kind of body and there is nothing wrong with being skinny, but filling my feed with only one type of shape was detrimental to my self-esteem and my recovery. I knew if I wanted to get better, if I wanted to change, my Instagram feed had to change too.
I knew if I wanted to get better, if I wanted to change, my Instagram feed had to change too.
At my most miserable and lowest point, I removed myself from social media completely, but this didn’t make me happy either, instead, I policed my feed.
I stopped following fitness accounts, I stopped following accounts centred around food and I stopped following accounts that made me feel like my body wasn’t good enough.
Now I click that blue ‘follow’ because they’re funny, because their style is amazing or they have something interesting to say, not because I want to try and look like them, or because my eating disorder wants a reason to skip dinner.
I also understand I have a responsibility to show those who follow me my real self, not some ‘perfect’ version. I try and write with honesty about my mental health, the greasy chips I’ve just eaten and my boring Saturday night in.
I know social media has huge downfalls, but there is no need for your feed to punish and torture you, it can be a positive and safe space, you just have to let it.
Check out @selflovelogic, founded by @_charlottesweb, it’s so inspiring!