Australian fashion retailer Sportsgirl has teamed up with the Butterfly Foundation for Love Your Body Week, which is running from September 3 to September 9.
To launch the week, the Butterfly Foundation, which specialises in programs to help people experiencing eating disorders, released the first national ‘Insights into Body Esteem’ Report.
The report surveyed 3000 people about their body perceptions. Key findings from the report showed that more than 40 percent of participants were dissatisfied with their appearance, and 41.5 percent most of the time or always compare themselves to others on social media.
The Butterfly Foundation’s CEO Christine Morgan said at an event for the campaign in Sydney this week that she was most alarmed by the statistic that 73 percent of people felt their appearance stopped them from participating in life.
“How we talk about our own and others’ appearance can seriously impact body confidence,” she said.
“This is not just about being kinder to ourselves and others. There are serious health ramifications if we do not challenge fundamental belief structures that are translating into nationwide body shape and size stigma.”
Colleen Callander, CEO of Sportsgirl, explained that the company shared that concern: “Sportsgirl is thrilled to be in our twelfth year of supporting The Butterfly Foundation and Love Your Body week to change the conversation around body image.”
Both groups acknowledged that one of the key ways that conversations can be changed is through social media; which is why, this year, they have teamed up with Instagram to present new initiatives for social media users to become more empowered in that space.
Instagram is using the #OwnYourFeed hashtag to make users aware that they can control what they see - and what others see - so that their overall experience is as positive as it can be.
Helena Lersch, Head of Public Policy APAC, Instagram said:
“Instagram is dedicated to making the platform a positive and affirming space for our entire community — from the accounts you follow to the content you share.
“To celebrate Love Your Body Week we are encouraging our community to Own Your Feed, with these steps to shape your Instagram experience, including safety tools, managing your time, privacy settings, comment controls and more.”
Lersch added that Instagram has worked with health experts and users to meet its hope to be "the kindest social media platform".
She explained that account holders can use the Time Well Spent function to monitor their usage of the app and revisit their settings such as the comment controls - which can filter specific phrases and words, and block all or certain commenters.
As well as being able to choose whether an account can be public or private, the Instagram app has the ability for users to share content in their feed or their stories with only certain people - a function which, Lersch suggests is a good option for younger teenagers.
"As parents, we should talk to our teens about how if anyone you're following makes you feel bad about yourself or your body, carefully review their place in your feed," she said.
"You can actually even unselect someone from following you - and they won't know about it unless they go looking for it."
#OwnYourFeed is just one of the hashtags that Love Your Body Week is using on Instagram. Other inspiring ones to check out are:
To learn more about Love Your Body Week, and the Instagram tools, visit the settings tab on the Instagram app.