It’s not surprising that a lot of us spend a significant portion of our day looking at a screen. In fact, you’re doing that very thing as you read this right now (and me as I write it!).
Maybe you saw this post while you were knee deep in your daily scroll through social media but I’m glad you decided to stop here for a minute and read. Because even though the act of scrolling often seems mindless, we are really being influenced by everything we see. And a lot of what we see on social media is plagued with diet culture messaging whether we take a second to realize it or not.
These messages may come from someone you know, an influencer, or a total stranger. While it’s probably rare that you take the time to actually read the captions on these posts, like they say, an image is worth a thousand words.
So, on your next scroll, keep an eye out for these things:
1) Transformation photos
This is a big one and it has me wonder who came up with “Transformation Tuesday” and why they thought it was a good idea. Possibly the worst part is that many people will actually read the caption to try to learn that person’s “secret.” Let me tell you, the secret is not in the caption (and I highly recommend you don’t go down the rabbit hole of reading the comments either). There is actually no secret here at all; the reality is that 95-98% of restrictive diets fail given 5 years. So, if you really want, you can wait 5 years and see how it goes but…
2) Influencers giving diet advice
There is a growing trend of influencers on social media whose job it is to share about different products on their Instagram to potential buyers (AKA you) to influence how you spend your money. I think it’s safe to say that most influencers on social media do not have a background in nutrition and so it can get a bit fishy when you start hearing diet advice or about how “great” a product is that is clearly a culprit of diet culture. Don’t spend your hard earned money on diet culture - they have enough money already.
3) Accounts that only show “healthy” foods
I use the word “healthy” in quotes because just that word alone implies that some foods are better than others which automatically triggers a diet mindset. When you see an account full of elaborate, whole food only images, question it. For example, a beautifully colorful smoothie bowl may look great on a feed but if seeing that makes you feel like your breakfast choice was less than, then that’s something to check in with yourself on.
So, if you see any of these things, do yourself a favor and hit that little button to UNFOLLOW. We don’t need to be surrounded by images and messages that tell us we are less than or are in need of fixing or bring us further away from trusting the body we have now.
So, I encourage you to do some damage control on your next scroll :)
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Marissa is a Registered Dietitian with Kaleidoscope. When she is not working, she loves traveling, snuggling her two kitties Milo & Oats, and spending time outside with her friends.