How to Evaluate Media for Friendly Body Image Content
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst
On an average day, if you surf the net, scroll through a social feed, read a magazine, drive along the highway, or watch telly. You've absorbed some media.
We all do, it's everywhere!
So when it comes to finding ways to protect your body image. Look out for these subtle things in media you view. Especially if the media has pictures of people (e.g., models, actors, and influencers!).
Because when going about our day, they can go unnoticed (if you're not keeping an eye out) and muck-up those positive feelings you have toward your body.
1. Always do a realism check!
Do media images you're seeing look digitally enhanced? With all the photo-enhancing apps available now, there's a good chance the answer is yes - to some degree!
But for body image, less photo altering is better! The more altered a photo is, the less representative it is to real bodies! It puts a bit of a smoke-screen on reality which can mess with your body image!
2. Does it show more than just 'sexy'?
Check out what people are doing in different media! For example, is it just a close-up shot of a person looking sexy? With not much else going on?
Or, does the image show more in-depth characteristics about the person? For example, something they're doing that's shows there's more to them than their looks?
Because for media that support body image, it's better if models emphasize the depth and complexity of our lives rather than just being 'sexy.'
Check-out the image below I love this hiking example.
3. Ask yourself, what's the catch?
Is this an ad? Sometimes, it's hard to tell. Look to see if content has an #ad hashtag or reference to it as branded content. There's nothing wrong ads per se, it's just good to know so that you can evaluate it better.
Ads sell hope, and for body image, there are good ads and errrrr bad ads.
A rule-of-thumb, as long as an ad isn't suggesting your body is wrong and needs fixing (in any way), it's a good start!
4. Also, ask, 'how do I feel?'
Finally, the most important! While viewing any media! If you feel inadequate, that you don't measure up, or feel under-represented. It's better to try to close it down, turn it off (if you can) and move onto something uplifting and more representative of who you are instead.
What about you? What do you look out for in friendly body image content?
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