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Creating a positive social media feed

Creating a positive social media feed 


We often hear that scrolling on social media can have a negative impact on young people’s self-esteem and confidence. Research shows that the people and types of content we follow can actually help us feel happier and more confident. 

By helping your child to weed out accounts that make them feel bad about themselves and curate a more positive social media feed, you can help them get the most out of their time online. As Instagram body positive advocate Megan Crabbe (@bodyposipanda) says, “your online space should feel like somewhere that you want to go, that inspires you and makes you feel positively about yourself and the world”.  

How to use social media

So, what’s likely to make your child feel good about themselves when they’re scrolling on social media? Scientists and psychologists have found that certain types of content are particularly good for improving body confidence. This includes:

Inclusive and diverse representations of beauty (body sizes, shapes, skin tones, abilities and appearances)

Memes with uplifting content that remind us to to be kind to ourselves 

Body positive influencers who celebrate real, diverse and inclusive beauty (we’ve listed some of our favorites below)

Parody posts or videos that challenge unrealistic beauty standards and stereotypes like the amazing @celestebarber

Less: digital distortion and unrealistic ideals

There are plenty of positive ways to use social media – but studies also show that some content should be avoided to help create a body positive social media space. Seeing certain types of content for just a few minutes can have a negative impact on young people’s self-esteem and body confidence: 

  • Digitally distorted images that promote unrealistic beauty ideals and social media stereotypes
  • Carefully curated, filtered and edited selfies
  • ‘Fitspiration’ content that promotes the idea that women and girls must aspire to a particular body type to be ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’

Creating a positive social media space

 Share these tips with a young person in your life  and have the ‘Selfie Talk’ to help them create confidence boosting social media feeds:

  • 1

    Follow accounts that celebrate real, diverse and inclusive beauty

    Encourage them to follow influencers who celebrate all kinds of beauty. Here are just some of our amazing Dove partners: @tanyacompass @hulisanravele @itsmekellieb

    @bodiposipanda @scarrednotscared @megboggs.

  • 2

    Do a social media experiment

    Spend 5 minutes scrolling through your feeds together. Think about the positive impact of social media as well as the negative. How did it make you feel? Talk about what types of posts made you feel uplifted, strong, and inspired, and what types of posts make you feel worried, annoyed, or bad about yourself.

  • 3

    Take action

    Promote positive use of social media and encourage them to hide the accounts that made them feel bad, for a week. If it makes them feel good not seeing these posts, encourage them to hit unfollow. Remind your child they have the power to take control of their social media feed and build an uplifting space.

  • 4

    Learn something new

    Help them look for new content that interests and inspires them. Can you find tutorials that teach you both something new?

  • 5

    Create feel-good content

    Encourage your child to post photos reflecting different aspects of their personality (hobbies and interests) instead of selfies and hyper-posed photos.

  • 6

    Get social

    Teach them to use social media to connect with people, instead of passively scrolling. Get them to drop their  friends a DM telling them what they admire most about them.