The reason for this particular blog post, similar to my last is that growing up in this Instagram society, are we doing enough to encourage a positive relationship between our mind and body. More specifically, are we teaching young men and women to embrace health and well-being in the correct way?
It’s hard to escape any form of social media and it’s even harder to not be influenced by what we see. My main concern is that teenagers of today are growing up being fooled by this ‘Instagram’ lifestyle. Filters on every picture; gifted the latest fashion; promoting quite frankly useless products aimed at weight loss (weight loss coffee….are you kidding me?) can we trust these ‘influencers’ are they really promoting what’s best for us? The answer in most cases is no.
Health and well being should be encompassing of all aspects of exercise, mental health and nutrition. These, in my opinion, are the three most important pillars of well-being. They all include numerous aspects and have so many factors that we personally can and cannot control. It’s learning to embrace what’s out of our control and monitor what we can control. I have grown up with the evolution of social media (anyone remember Bebo?) and I have seen it boom into what it is today, luckily for me, I am old enough to know that life isn’t all about being tanned toned and preened to perfection. I am aware that behind every Insta perfect photo it has probably been edited to within an inch of its life. And as much as I will post ‘to the gram’ I don’t live my life through it. But this is something that can easily be overlooked and forgotten.
However, I was once an impressionable teenager who grew up in the dance world and admittedly was susceptible to these new-age ‘health teas’ and ‘shakes for weight loss’. I’m fortunate enough to have not had Instagram during my teens as I know full well, I would have been scrolling pages looking for the latest products on how to slim down! And being a dancer at the time it would have been a slippery slope! And this is where my concerns stem. It’s hard enough being a teenager, it’s even harder in the 21st century with the pressure of social media.
So….what can be done I hear you cry?! This really is a complex situation and the responsibility to manage social media and the impact they have on people’s lives really falls with the individual user. HOWEVER I do feel that the social media giants CAN be doing more to help and guide users. They all use ads to sell products so why not ensure there’s adds offering support and guidance (counselling, helplines etc). I am assuming they still teach IT in schools (probably called something else now) so why not add this into the curriculum, a big ask I know. But at the end of the day guiding teenagers on social media may just help a few kids out! They should at LEAST be taught how to manage their safety settings surely? I feel a petition coming on…
With all that being said my goal through the Breakthrough Academy is to teach young women and men that it’s not about fitting into a size 0 or rapidly bulking. Fitness is, as I’ve said encompassing the three pillars (mental, physical and nutritional health) It’s about setting goals to get stronger, setting targets that aren’t just about aesthetics. Goals should encompass performance and feeling I.E Imagine how you will feel when you achieve that pull up after weeks of hard work. I also want to teach that life isn’t what you see on ‘The Gram’ it’s OK to have pizza on a Friday night, it’s OK to slouch in your PJ’s without makeup, it’s OK to have an off day, we are all only human. From someone who has learnt the hard way, our bodies need to be celebrated and adored for what we put them through on a daily basis. So above all….I want to teach a bit of self-love. And this is why I am SO SO passionate about kicking off The Academy in September.
Breakthrough Academy Director