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Uploaded:2017-05-17
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Social media can often feel like the enemy of good body image, but as the season warms up, consider taking a critical look at the media you consume.

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Links:
https://counseling.northwestern.edu/blog/Four-Steps-for-Creating-a-Healthy-Body-Image-During-Summer-Months/
http://greatist.com/live/the-men-making-male-body-positivity-mainstream
http://www.thebodypositive.org/
https://www.bustle.com/articles/174710-how-mainstream-body-positivity-can-do-better-by-the-transgender-community

It's getting hot in here and as a wise man once said, it's time to take off all of our clothes.  But for a lot of us, hot weather can be the toughest time of the year when it comes to dealing with body image.  

 Intro (0:12)


It can really dampen summertime fun when you're self-conscious about how you appear, and social media doesn't always help. Sites like Instagram and Pinterest can be really harmful when it comes to the plethora of "get a bikini body in 30 days" or "ways to evaporate your cellulite" images and articles.

We can't control everything we see on social media, but we can make choices that help offset the tidal wave of photoshopped, unrealistic beauty. This year, consider trying a little experiment and changing how you feel.


 Step 1: Document (0:48)


Step 1: Document.  Write down how you feel about yourself and what you're most insecure about as a way to check in with your status.  

  Step 2: Unfollow (0:56)


Step 2: Unfollow.  Cruise through your feeds and try unfollowing beauty focused accounts that emphasize a narrow Eurocentric, heteronormative standard of attractiveness. Not that that's anything wrong with that, but if you only follow one type of body, then you might convince yourself that that's the only type of body.

Remember, you can always start following them again later if you just really need more Brazilian supermodels or Man Candy Monday in your life.

  Step 3: Research (1:20)


Step 3: Research.  The internet can be pretty gross sometimes, but if you look carefully, you'll find places that promote body positivity and more expansive ideals of fashion and beauty. The search term "body positivity" can be a good place to start.

But here's an important disclaimer: the body positivity movement itself doesn't appeal to everyone and has been especially critiqued for not including experiences of transgender folks. So by no means should you feel like it's the end all, be all of resources for feeling better about yourself.

 Step 4: Switch Up Your Feeds! (1:51)


Step 4: Switch up your feeds.  If you're still looking for ideas, here are some popular people who offer a diverse array of images.

Plus-size supermodel Ashley Graham posts unaltered, no makeup, cellulite included photos of herself and people wearing her swimwear and lingerie lines.

Jessamyn Stanley is a body positive yoga teacher who frequently points out body taboos on Twitter. An increasing number of dudes are in on it, too, like Kelvin Davis.

Rockstar and transgender activist Laura Jane Grace frequently 'grams dramatic, beautiful photos of herself.  Hashtags like #effyourbodystandards are good places to find other cool accounts too.

  Step 5: Give Yourself Time (2:28)


Step 5: Wait a few weeks to a few months to see what difference it makes. Give it time, but you might just notice that you feel less self-critical when the images you see everyday more closely reflect the variety of shapes and sizes that peoples' bodies come in.

It helps to journal as you go just to check in with yourself. Journaling is just great in general for a bunch of different reasons.  

  Step 6: Contextualize & Examine (2:50)


Step 6: Ta da!  Everything will be perfect and you will love everything about yourself.  Of course not.

Body image is too big an issue to solve with any one life hack and no matter how hard you try, we live in a world that's inundated with images perpetuating the hot trends and beauty ideals.

You might not feel great about yourself 100% of the time, but thoughtfully approaching the media you consume can give you the tools to critically examine those negative feelings when they show up.

  Step 7: Go to the Beach! (3:20)


Step 7: Go to the beach.  Or the pool.  Or the backyard barbecue.  Live your best IRL life.  

Thanks, as always, for joining me in learning how to adult. If you want to see more videos like this with Hank and me, click subscribe at Youtube.com/LearnHowToAdult.