Think twice before 'shaming' your lockdown body online

As many of us emerge from months in lockdown, and continue to face the ongoing global pandemic, it’s normal to feel anxious about returning to a 'new' normal life.

Especially after spending so much time confined to our homes, many people may be facing fears about their weight, diet, or body image after months of heightened stress and anxiety and potentially altered fitness routines.

Woman holding phone. Source: Getty Images
Social media platforms may inadvertently trigger people with eating disorders or body image issues. Source: Getty Images

That’s why it’s more important than ever to be kind to yourself, and others.

Particularly across social media, where posts across multiple platforms may inadvertently trigger people with eating disorders or body image issues.

The effect of social media

The Butterfly Foundation, Australia’s national charity for eating disorders and body image issues, are appealing to social media users to think twice before posting memes, jokes or commentary surrounding weight or extreme dieting, to help reduce the impact on those suffering.


“While we know that many of these posts are in jest, what people may not be aware of, is that these posts could be inadvertently triggering for people," Danni Rowlands, Butterfly Foundation’s National Manager of Prevention Services, says.

Woman upset as looking at her computer. Source: Getty Images
Less than a quarter of Aussie's are receiving treatment or support for an eating disorder. Source: Getty Images

Over 1 million Australians are living with an eating disorder, and less than a quarter of people receiving treatment or support.

With that in mind, take a read through The Butterfly Foundation's series of helpful tips for self-care and social media use. Particularly in a current post-lockdown world.

Be mindful of the things you post

“Share with sensitivity – not everything has to go online and making jokes about others’ appearance or body shape is never okay.”

“Consider that, as we emerge from lockdowns, some people may be more sensitive than others.”

Young people holding phones. Source: Getty Images
To reduce harmful content, block users or content for immediate effect. Source: Getty Images

Report and block upsetting content

“If something upsets or triggers you, and you feel like it is unsafe information, you can always report the content. This will then alert the social media platform to investigate, and if it is found to go against their guidelines it will be removed.”

“You can also block content or users, which can take immediate effect in reducing the harmful content you see.”

Mute conversations or take breaks from content that is unhelpful

“If you find people, even friends, who you follow online are sharing unhelpful and toxic body talk in relation to their lockdown body – mute, unfollow, snooze.”

“By reducing what you see, read, and hear you are protecting your body image and self-esteem.”

For confidential support about eating disorders and body image issues you can free call the Butterfly Foundation National Hotline on 1800 33 4673. Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can also be found by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. Online support is available via Beyond Blue.

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