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Is social media really all that bad? 5 self-care and body image influencers to follow that can help.

By Jordan Weinstein

Despite all the negative impacts social media can have on mental health and eating disorder culture, there are ways to use apps like Instagram and TikTok for good. If you follow the right people, social media can actually contribute to your personal growth. This is something I have learned over the past few years as someone who was sick of all the toxicity revolving around social media. I remember frequently having conversations with friends about how terrible social media has been for their health, whether that’s due to comparing themselves to others, seeing things they cannot do or have, or anything else.

As the daughter of a psychologist, my instinct was to find a way to make social media more of a positive experience for myself. I unfollowed all of the people whose content made me upset, insecure, and jealous and followed a slew of accounts and influencers who promoted positivity and mental health awareness. This blog will talk about some of these great, influential people that can improve your overall experience with social media and help you feel better about yourself rather than comparing.

1. Lexi Hidalgo

Bio: 20 Years old, TikTok star, born in Florida

Lexi is most well known for her fame on TikTok, where she posts uplifting and entertaining content. She promotes good eating by posting fun recipes, as well as “eat with me” videos to motivate people who struggle with eating. She posts about her travels and great experiences that uplift her, among which are spending a few months living in Hawaii with people she loves to improve herself. She also posts “coffee talks” which are one-minute clips of her giving quick motivational speeches while she makes coffee. She has grown to a following base of 1.6 million followers and continues to post inspiring content. She is definitely a great follow!

2. Selena Gomez

Bio: 29 years old, Singer/Actress, Born in Texas

Everyone knows Selena Gomez, but if you don’t follow her on social media, you may not know about her work in reducing the stigma against mental health. Selena has been a TV star since the age of ten and has since blown up as not only an actress, but also as a singer and role model to many. She has recently opened up about her struggles with mental health, starting with battles against anxiety and depression, to eventually being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Just this year Selena created a mental health education initiative with her makeup brand, Rare Beauty. Her initiative is "dedicated to supporting mental health education and encouraging financial support for more mental health services in educational services," according to her Instagram. Check out her post about it for more information! To read about some more incredible ways she has promoted mental health awareness, check out this link:

3. @Tanksgoodnews

Bio: Instagram account

Too often, bad news speculate across social media, television, and gossip. This account is a way of spreading much more positive news, and scrolling through your instagram feed to come upon news like that about Nintendo partnering up with nonprofits to give video games to hospitalized kids is extremely uplifting when the rest of social media may bring you down. There are plenty of other great instagram accounts like this such as @upworthy, @thehappynewspaper, and @brightvibesmedia.

4. Remi Bader

Bio: 26 years old, Tik Tok/Instagram influencer, NYC born and raised

Remi Bader is best known as a fashion influencer who strongly advocates for size inclusion for curve models. She is based in New York City, and became famous because of her “realistic hauls.” While most people do hauls by presenting new clothes through try-ons and putting out the idea that clothes should fit everyone, Remi’s hauls consist of her trying on clothes and imitating the models’ poses through a comedic lens, ultimately exposing the many size discrepancies from many brands. Other videos she post are outlets for her to express her coping methods for things from hate comments to just overall bad days, which people often say are great in terms of giving advice.

5. Serena Kerrigan

Bio: 27 years old, ___, NYC born and raised

Serena Kerrigan is an entrepreneur and CEO, as well as an internet star. Besides from her quarantine blind dating TV show, Let’s F***ing Date, she also created a lifestyle program that helps her to empower women and help build confidence. Her confidence coaching program helps hundreds of women, from teenagers to senior citizens, to gain confidence and take control of their lives. She is a very influential female role model, and also takes pride in her Latinx heritage. Before her endeavors in entrepreneurship, she attended Duke University and worked for Refinery29 as a content producer.

Following inspiring accounts and people like those listed above can have an unmatched influence on your experience with social media. Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter are no longer struggles for myself and I now actually enjoy scrolling through my feeds. Thank you for reading!

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