Media mindfulness is an intentional practice of observing everything that you’re consuming on a daily basis, Whitney explained. That includes the articles you’re reading, the shows and movies you’re watching, the music you’re listening to, everything you see on social media, and any other content you interact with regularly.
On a macro level, our culture plays a huge role in shaping any one person’s body image, Whitney said—and the research certainly backs that up. Many studies have linked social media use with increased body image issues and disordered eating, with one 2017 study showing women feel worse about their bodies when viewing “fitspiration” images on Instagram. We’re constantly inundated with messages about what our bodies should and shouldn’t look like. In other words, you’re really not individually to blame for not feeling great about your body.
“Our culture thrives, and capitalism thrives, on our ability to hate our bodies,” Whitney explained. “There’s nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. The culture is broken, and you are just a product of what is being infused and impressed upon you on a daily basis, sometimes without you even thinking about it.”
Once you recognize the ways in which the media contributes to your feelings of disconnection from your body, they added, you can then start to manage or minimize your exposure.
“It’s my responsibility to make sure that any sort of media that I’m consuming—any sort of messages that I’m getting from friends, not even just from the media, but family and stuff like that—it’s my job to make sure I’m filtering those things and that I’m being very mindful and proactive,” they explained. “I get to choose which messages that I internalize, and I get to create boundaries around the people, places, and things that take me out of my body.”