Mental health and social media

How to Balance Mental Health and Social Media in the Beauty World

Last updated on: 2019

Beauty

There’s a certain joy that is commonly shared across social media platforms. The kind of joy one gets when they share a funny meme, a cute puppy, an oddly satisfying lipstick swatch video or memories with friends and family. Often enough though, when one deals with social media frequently, it typically comes with jealousy and insecurity. It can be tough to figure out how to balance mental health and social media, especially when we are constantly surrounded by a sea of beautiful images. 

These feelings don’t often show themselves in our daily lives. It’s not very often you see a friend’s Instagram selfie or scroll through your favorite influencer’s IGTV and get angry and upset at what you see. You follow beauty accounts, models, influencers, etc. for a reason. But when your feed of Facetuned selfies and magical trips to Paris start to get exhausting, here are some things you can do to avoid the stress.

Tips for balancing mental health and social media 

Follow accounts that make you smile and inspire you: Yes, this can be James Charles or Kylie Jenner but only if you feel they are adding value to your life. If you are scrolling and only think, “ugh, I wish I had that!” then you should consider unfollowing that account. 

Post authentically and be yourself: It’s often joked that women can spend up to two hours curating the perfect IG post, then spend hours after recounting all their likes. Next time you’re on the ‘gram, try posting an unfiltered photo and turn off your phone for a few hours after. It’s fun to share, but not when it comes with anxiety after. 

Limit yourself: Check up on your social media usage occasionally (your iPhone stores all data in your settings!) It’s fun to scroll through Twitter and find funny posts to share, but try to only go on an app at a certain time of the day. You can try setting specific time limits for yourself on Instagram and Facebook with daily reminder notifications once you’ve hit your limit. This will not only limit your usage over time but can also give social media a purpose in your daily life instead of just a distraction when you’re bored. 

Approach it mindfully: First things first, you should know when an image or video has been altered. If you have to guess, chances are it probably has. Approach social media like you’re going on a mindless vacation. Yes, it serves as entertainment, but be mindful that you are more influenced than you might think. If you unfollow someone who makes you feel bad, chances are you won’t get FOMO on their future posts. When in doubt, log off. 

Mental health and the beauty community 

Luckily for use daily media users, the beauty community is getting better every day with its strides to decrease the amount of retouched images. Just last year, CVS has pledged to not use any images with photoshopping (this includes all brand’s sold). 

Dove has also been an influential beauty brand that combats women’s stereotypes and only uses unretouched woman in a variety of sizes for its commercials and print ads. For its Project #ShowUs campaign, Dove partnered with Girl Gaze and Getty Images to create the world’s largest stock photo library featuring women, female-identifying and non-binary people everywhere. The brand’s mission is to create a vision of beauty where no one is excluded or defined by standards or stereotypes. 

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We’re breaking beauty stereotypes around the world with @girlgaze and @gettyimages 🌎 but we couldn’t do it without the amazing women and non-binary individuals in front of and behind the camera 📸 As the world’s largest stock photo library to shatter beauty stereotypes and create a more inclusive vision of beauty, Project #ShowUs is making waves 🙌 And we’re so happy to have been awarded the Silver Glass Lion for Change at @cannes_lions Festival of Creativity – an award that celebrates ideas that challenge gender inequality and make a positive impact on the world 🦁 So far, over 7000 of our images have been downloaded in over 40 countries and counting, by 938+ companies… This is just the beginning and we can’t wait to see more 💙 #Dove #RealBeauty #ShowUs #CannesLions #Unstereotype #CannesLions2019 #Change

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In May during Mental Health Awareness Month, Philosophy shined a spotlight on mental health with a video featuring Aija Mayrock, author of “The Survival Guide to Bullying,” reading a poem that drew a connection between skincare routines and mental health. The skincare brand previously partnered with a theater company and invited beauty influencers to promote “Brainfood,” a show about mental health. Through Philosophy’s Hope and Grace Initiative, every product sold goes to support community-based mental health efforts and financial grants focused on empowering women with prevention and treatment.

In addition to these efforts, a variety of brands are launching new products tailored towards wellness and in support of mental health — everything from functional fragrance to stress-reducing supplements. 

Our takeaway

At the end of the day when you go to recharge your phone, remember that beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety. Social media can fuel this, so be mindful of those you follow and always support brands with proper representation and sensitivity for inclusion. 

It’s time to join the conversation. What other strategies help you balance mental health and social media? Let us know below!

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Shannon Brown
Shannon is a social media and copywriting intern at Taylor & Pond. When she's not working, you can find her devouring tacos, binge-watching beauty gurus on YouTube and reluctantly taking her mom's spin classes.