Social media is an excellent tool and an exciting way to communicate and express yourself. Thanks to social media, there are now platforms upon which to share your style. For fashion aficionados, like myself, Instagram has been a place to share current fashion favourites and my OOTDs. However, I also found myself spending a lot of time comparing my own style and body to those of other users who post fashion-related content.
After reading some articles I discovered that comparing my style and body to others was not only reprograming my brain to have negative self-image, but was also removing much of the individuality and creativity from my personal style. I found myself trying to look less like myself and more like the Instagram models.
Here are four tips to help you be confident and be you, while still staying active on Instagram:
1. Stop using the explore feature. Let’s start off with something very practical: stop using the “explore” feature on Instagram. As soon as you begin scrolling down that feed of never-ending, public posts, you inevitably end up scrolling through images on accounts that transmit the message that unhealthily skinny is beautiful. You also end up subconsciously trying to look more and more like the model on the screen, and lose that individuality I was referring to before.
2. Be picky. Feel free to follow fashion accounts, but be conscientious of who you chose to follow. When following fashion accounts, be aware of your personal style and values. There are many impossible standards that young women are invited to try to imitate. Try not to surround yourself with images that will facilitate setting those standards for yourself. On our Facebook page we have links to some great fashion bloggers who also have Instagram accounts and we think they are fantastic!
3. Have personal fitness and style goals. If you have your own standards figured out, then you’ll be more prepared to take on whatever Instagram throws at you. A concrete example of this could be having a theme on your Instagram to help you stay on track. Designing themes can be a great creative feat and can allow you to remain true to your own style and self-image. Fitness can be very personal, but often having reasonable personal goals allows you to ignore the unreasonable goals or expectations based off of photos on social media platforms.
4. Be authentic. Why would you try and re-create someone else’s photo, style or look when you can bless Instagram with something it has never seen before. Since fashion is a means of self-expression and a language to communicate who you are, show your followers the true you and be daring in your authenticity. It might take courage and daring, but the world will be a better place if girls take ownership of who they really are and are fearless about sharing that with the world (or in this case, Instagram).