Love Yourselfie

(Promote real versus “ideal” body image)

Strengthening Realistic Body Image

Click here for Social Media Literacy Prompt

Whether we’re conscious of it or not, most of us believe there is some sort of “ideal” body and strive to achieve it. But have you ever considered where that ideal comes from? The reality is none of us were born with this ideal in mind.

Our experiences and interactions with others and the media have helped shape it. Messages we receive are sometimes clear-cut like before and after photos in diet ads, repping how we “should” look. Or they might be more subtle like certain body shapes not shown in entertainment. Further, when models, influencers , and actors don’t represent the current “ideal” body-standards (whatever those may currently be), a bit of media magic (e.g., Photoshop and filters) can alter their appearance, bringing them closer to “ideal.” And we might never know that happened!

If you feel your body is outside the current “ideal,” it might be tempting to criticize it, hoping to push yourself towards “fixing” or changing it. However, self-criticism rarely motivates or does anything good. So instead, what can you do? Perhaps you remind yourself, “There’s no way to know if that was photoshopped” or ask yourself, “Whose ideal does this represent?” You may not yet have your answer, but the following questions can help you to develop one.

Page1-Tab1 Challenge the “Ideal” Body-image

Click the Save button and go to the next tab on this page.

Recognize Diet Culture’s Influence

Click here for Social Media Literacy Prompt

Let’s define “diet culture.” It’s societal expectations valuing thinness and the physical appearance of health created and maintained by, for example:

  • Messages about how one should look or eat
  • Messages about how much one should weigh
  • Labeling foods as good or bad (and labeling yourself as good or bad if you eat them)
  • Viewing certain eating and fitness practices as morally superior or inferior

You don’t have to be on a diet to be impacted by diet culture.

Page1-Tab2 Question Diet Messages

Click the Save button and go to the next tab on this page.

Diversifying My Media Feed(s)

Click here for Social Media Literacy Prompt

In 2021, one-thousand American social media users aged 16 to 34 were surveyed. The majority said they followed social media influencers who were similar to themselves (e.g., age, gender, race, and lifestyle). By comparison, only 130 reported following influencers who were different from them. But real bodies and real people may not be so similar to you - and you may discover that some people you think of as “different” are actually more similar than you realized. Diversifying your media feeds can broaden your worldview, potentially increasing your body- and self-confidence and your capacity for inclusivity, too.

Page1-Tab3 Moving Beyond Our Biases

Click the Save button and go to the next tab on this page.

Accepting Body Diversity

Click here for Social Media Literacy Prompt

There’s an interesting video on YouTube by the Association of Size Diversity and Health called “The Problem with Poodle Science.” The short film brings to light that under the umbrella term “dogs,” different breeds with naturally distinct physiques and requirements for health exist. It makes logical sense that a bullmastiff that loses enough pounds to weigh the same as a poodle is not a fit bullmastiff ; it’s a starved bullmastiff. Not everyone is supposed to be in a poodle’s weight range, especially if you’re a Chihuahua or a Great Dane. However, that’s far from the message that permeates Western society.

Something to think about: “ BMI (Body Mass Index) was developed by a mathematician based on his concept of “the average man.” It was not created to consider differences across ethnic groups, race, gender, age, fitness levels, or the proportions of bone, muscle, and fat in the body.”

Excerpt from 30+ Truths About Diet Culture, Eating Disorders, and the Process of Healing by Gia Marson, Ed.D.

Page1-Tab4 Real Bodies

Click the Save button and go to the next tab on this page.

Healthy Eating is Different for Each of Us!

Click here for Social Media Literacy Prompt

Healthy eating is a huge topic. And, what’s promoted as “healthy” might not be “healthy” for you.

  • Let’s say you’re allergic to, dislike, or have a sensitivity to kale, which’s been promoted as a superfood. Then for you, kale won’t be so “super,” right?
  • Following someone else’s plan for how we “should” eat can dull our ability to listen to our body’s signals (e.g., cravings, hunger/fullness).
  • Science backs that weight loss diets fail in the long run most of the time. (Did you catch that? They fail, you don’t.)
  • Adhering to (or trying really hard to!) “healthy” diets and food plans, many of which often restrict categories of food or food overall, can end up making someone malnourished–which is the opposite of healthy.

In general, healthy eating might be summarized as this: Eating in ways that keep your body steadily fueled, your moods supported, your energy maintained, and that offer your body variety and pleasure.

Author of Food Freedom Workbook, Dr. Gia Marson, EdD., PsyD. states: Eating is one of the most natural things we can do. Yet many of us apply unnatural rules to the way we eat. Our culture idealizes appearances, certain body shapes, dieting, and weight limits as part of a “healthy” life. The result is that most of us have unwittingly developed a dieting mindset. This means that we are constantly thinking about what we “should” be eating while also feeling deprived by what we’re not eating.

  • What is intuitive eating? Intuitive eating helps you to exert positive control over your eating habits by eating in sync with your body’s built-in cues; choosing foods based on energy, nutrition, taste, and satisfaction; and giving up external rules about food.
  • What is mindful eating? Mindful eating helps you to change negative self-judgments to compassionate self-talk so that you may empower yourself to pause before making choices about food.

Page1-Tab5 Inspiring You


Save this tab and click the button to continue


Scroll to Top