Stop Normalizing Eating Disorder Behavior On Social Media

Hello Lovelies!

We are getting a little serious with this article. This can be a sensitive subject, but I intend to avoid including any content that may be triggering like numbers or other things I can omit.

Triggering or glamorizing content regarding eating disorders has been all over the internet forever. Before, there was thinspo and all sorts of “pro ana” posts on sites like Tumblr, and now the same toxic energy exists in more socially acceptable packages. Maybe it is just our society’s tradition of encouraging body privilege or shaming fatness. But in 2021 this problem is more than this engrained norm, and the problems are even more difficult to identify.

Some Examples of General Triggering Content

For a lot of ED Survivors, certain terms or topics (as you may have noticed above) can trigger relapse into unhealthy behaviors. One example of a triggering piece of content could be the mention of weight or calories. I am not going to criticize every time someone mentions their weight or diet-related talk without content warning. Sure, there is nothing wrong with letting viewers know the content may not be for them, but that is not the primary issue. It is very normal to openly share goals and health-related progress, and it is never a bad thing to promote a healthy lifestyle, but what if people are promoting an unhealthy lifestyle? Or what if that unhealthy lifestyle becomes a mass trend?

More Serious Glamorizations Of Thinness, Dieting, and Overexersizing

There are so many forms of this online, but here are just a few examples:

  • celebrity diet trends like fit teas or appetite suppressors – think any “quick fix” ad.
  • before and after content, but instead of promoting a healthy relationship with your body or commitment to reaching goals in a safe manner, a lot of these trends or videos actually perpetuate the notion that people are prettier or more important when thin and therefore not attractive or special when fat.
  • any dark humor with references to eating disorder behavior – this certainly varies but it still can have a harmful effect on viewers

Why This Content Is Problematic

I have used the term triggering a few times in this article, but to better explain what I mean, I am going to define this term in the context above. When someone who struggles with an eating disorder is constantly fed information telling them that they will be happier or prettier if they have some crazy transformation like someone they see online, or if they always see ads for plastic surgery or diet pills, they are more likely to relapse into bad behaviors, give into the pressure of the content they see, or simply believe the lie that they cannot accept their body the way it is.

On a broader scale this content perpetuates fat phobia altogether, encouraging a culture where only thinness is attractive and anything else is just unhealthy.

Let’s Do Better

Last week Pinterest announced they would no longer support weight loss ads on their platform. This is HUGE. Opponents may find that this move promotes obesity or unhealthy behavior, but HEALTH IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL. Healthy eating, fitness, and the use of supplements or other lifestyle choices are all unique and are meant to be between a person and their physician, coach, dietician, or therapist and not the internet.

Let’s continue to move in the right direction, no more quick fixes or body shaming, just healthy mindset and healthy habits – however that looks for you.

xx,

A

The Best Things You Can Do To Get Your Brand Off The Ground

Hello Lovelies!

Today I wanted to share some insight for those of you who are “in the building stages” – maybe you have a personal brand or business and you are working to grow your social media, get your content out there, or build your website! I was very lucky to grow as much as I did back in my first year as a blogger, so here are some things I did as well as advice I got a long the way! I highly recommend having a running list of tools like this you can use and keep in mind along your journey!

Make Friends

Sounds a little weird to say, but you are growing a following you are really building a community of like-minded people. A great way to start is simply to get in touch with people who do what you do (or what you want to do), connect with them, and just start your support system! When I wanted to be a blogger I reached out to a bunch of people I had been following and asked them about what they do and what advice they had for me! It was both informative to learn about the business but it was also encouraging to make a connection!

EMAIL!!

In my first month as a blogger I reached out to one girl who had all these sponsorships and I asked her how someone like me could get in on all that. She simply responded and said to email AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! In the begging, I would email maybe 200 brands a month, and get 5 or so good responses. Thats a smallllll percentage, but it was still worth it to start working and get my name out there!

Know Your Worth

Even when your brand is small, there is no excuse to sell yourself short. NEVER work for free.

Do Not Just Build Your Social Or Website

As you work to make it in whatever industry, do not forget to offer freelancing services like photography or graphic design! You have talents and you do not need to exclusively work on your brand! Pro tip: pitching services can be a great way to constantly have work and still get your name out there!

POST CONSISTENTLY

I do not know why I did not mention this sooner, but consistent content is a nice recipe for an engaged audience! When people can expect new, exciting info from you, they will stick around!

Show Your Personality!

This was a hard one for me because I love creating but I do not always want to share the tough stuff (or sometimes I am just insecure) but I feel so much more connected to my audience when they get to see a real person with feelings and goofy stuff going on in their life.

Ok guys, I know this was a quick one, but I love you all and I hope you have an awesome start to your weekend!

xx,

A

How Social Media Will Change For Creatives And Consumers In The Next Year

Helllooo Lovelies!!!

This Saturday post is a lil out of the blue, but I feel like the topic of social media and social media marketing is so important and relevant for all of us, so here I am going to get a little deep talking about… hidden likes. I have been waiting for this update to reach the US and now that it will officially happen, here are my thoughts!

Likes Are Going Away, And It’s Not Going To Be A Seamless Transition

Ok this a given, but let’s backtrack. Speaking in terms of just Instagram, the app has been incredibly popular for years, and little updates and changes have greatly affected “the market.” The latest official change is the invisibility of “likes.” Now users cannot publicly see the number of users who like a post. At a very basic level, I personally love this concept because so many users struggle with low self esteem and maybe eliminating the feature can amend related social issues. On the other hand, content creators use and will continue to use metrics such as likes to measure the success of their posts, and maybe this new feature will hurt that market.

But here’s the thing: as much as I want to see young people quit checking their phones every 10 minutes to see how popular they are, and as much as I want to see creators grow from pure original content, this is still unrealistic, and history shows it.

There Will Be Change, But Will It Be Good?

I worry that social media users will just adapt to this change like they adapted to so many other things. Remember when you could only post square or when Vine only let you post 6 seconds? People adapted well to those specifications and it completely changed the kinds of content you may see.

Some negative ways people may adapt to hidden likes: teens posting screenshots of the likes they can see as a way of flexing or proving something. Brands changing who they work with based on how creators perform in the new era, or creators finding unusual ways to gain exposure and more views to begin with.

But will something good happen?

Could this change the popularity of certain platforms? What about trends in content? Or will our culture find a way to remain essentially the same?

xx,

A

How I Learned To Stop Caring So Much About Likes

Hello Lovelies!

Adelia here coming at you with some serious truth – I am not sure how exactly to get into all of this, but I am extremely passionate about social media, the influencer industry, and positivity, confidence, and high self-esteem within that industry. As an advocate I feel the issue of like counts is an important, yet overlooked element to the whole industry. Sure, likes can serve as a status symbol or an indicator of financial or other success, but aside from this, likes can trigger negative psychological issues that are honestly unnecessary. Today I am going to explain my journey of self love as I worked to reverse the psychological damage I once allowed FROM AN APP.

The idea of writing this post first came to mind weeks ago when rumors surfaced that Instagram would suddenly hide like counts. What this means is that even though one can still know the number of likes a post is receiving, finding that number becomes a tedious task that many people may not bother to do. Who knows if this will ever happen but regardless, the internet freaked out.

Ok let’s backtrack to 2011 when apps like Instagram were still very new. At first I honestly thought it was just another editing app at first and I did not realize I was actually posting low quality, vintage-looking images of my living room for my two friends to see. When I eventually understood the concept of social media, and how it’s a very public space, things changed. I distinctly remember the first time I reached 10 likes on a post. Instead of the usual selfie, I shared a random meme that made me laugh. Later I noticed that instead of listing out the names of the few friends who cared what I posted I saw “11 likes.” Before that day I didn’t know this was a thing, but I did know that this number gave me a high. Instantly, I wanted more affirmation for whatever I had to share, and that need for validation continued to grow.

Cut to today, after years in the business of social media marketing and influencing, I give ZERO cares regarding who likes my post, how many people see or like my post, how well my post does compared to other posts, and the list goes on… Want to know how I got here? Here’s a hint: the answer isn’t more likes.

Somewhere along the line, whether from my experience with cyberbullying to my desire to emulate other bloggers, I got to a point where I cared way too much about social media. I struggled to live in the moment and I used likes as a measure of my self worth. Then about a year ago I suddenly had over 50 instagram posts deleted due to a glitch with the app. No warning, no one to contact to get them back, they were just gone. This glitch deleted important sponsored posts and altered my engagement rate and other stats. About a week later the same posts magically re-appeared (a common occurrence with the particular glitch) and I could have simply breathed a sigh of relief and gone back to my obsession. Obviously that’s not what happened. It is unfortunate that it took loss for me to realize what was happening and to make a change, but I am fortunate to be in a completely different place.

This event taught me that Instagram is not forever. Sure we will always have archives and such, but the validation I currently receive is not something I can always count on, and honestly it should never be that way. The app could become completely unpopular, the influencer market could crash and burn (again), or our accounts could be randomly deleted, and all that effort would be gone and out of our control. The word “control” comes up a lot for me regarding this topic, and what freed me from my need for social media validation was accepting what I can and cannot control.

I can control the quality of the content I produce. I cannot control who sees it. I can control the time and effort I put into my work. I cannot control how people receive it.

And that is ok.

I know it can be hard to truly receive this message: that we cannot control our likes and that’s ok. I am just putting this truth out there, because someone needs to hear it.

Also, as cliché as this sounds, another way to look at this whole social media thing is it’s just one tiny part of the universe and there is SO MUCH MORE out there. I feel like I am starting to ramble with a tangent, but you get my point. There are many ways to stop caring so much about likes, and this is how I found peace.

xx,

A