Navigating Media's Messages... Take 5 Actions
Updated: Jun 18
Media images are everywhere we look... our phones, magazines, advertisements,
television, and movies. Whether we are consciously thinking about it or not, these
images are getting into our psyches. It is in our nature to compare ourselves to others.
But, when we compare ourselves to the photoshopped, faux extended, cosmetically
enhanced and computer generated images, we start to perceive a false sense of
reality. We start to see a perfection that is never going to be obtainable, and this can be very damaging if we are not conscious of it.
As humans of the world we need to be aware of this so we can be critical of the
media more and our bodies less. As women, we tend to criticize ourselves too much over our outer appearance. We compare ourselves to something computer generated too often. If your self dialog is constantly negative and if you're constantly comparing yourself to perfectly airbrushed images, you're going to start believing what you tell your mind.
Let’s change the conversation to how to be good people.
How to be our best selves.
How to embrace our talents and strengths and creativity to grow.
How to treat ourselves and those around us well.
And, let’s be clear that this conversation isn’t just about women. Our young men see the same images in the media as we women do. The insane expectations
that each gender has for the other can be overwhelming and unobtainable. If most
of the images we see of men are “bumbling fun idiot,” “hyper masculine ragey
body builder” or “power shark” then that is what young women will expect out of our young men. If most of the images we see of women are “sex kitten,” “dumb and pretty,” or “b****” then that is what young men will expect out of our young women. These messages really keep both men and women in a box and are making it hard for anyone to reach their full potential.
So how do we do this? How do we, as a society, change the conversation? We start with OURSELVES.
1. When we find our friends criticizing themselves, we remind them of all of the good things they do. We also need to ask our friends to do the same for us.
2. We need to look at BODY POSITIVE messaging on social media. And share it. (Try looking #bodypositive)
3. Make a list of the things about yourself that you are grateful for, like your humor, your strength, your creativity. (Do this every week, if you can't do it every day.)
4. Take breaks from social media. Sometimes we get caught up in what everyone else is doing and that "comparison monster" kicks in and messes with our heads. Take a 24 break and get active with other things. Spend sometime outside, make a date with friends, try a new recipe with your parents, take a new exercise class, write a letter to your grandpa, watch a classic movie.
5. Remind yourself PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION. Write this down and hang it where you'll see it often. In your locker, on a mirror, next t your bed. (And if you don't like this quote, find one that resonates with you.)
If you'd like to dig deeper into some personal self growth, check out the FREE workbook here.
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