#DoSomething: How Social Media Grants Society The Power To Change

by Emily Hussey

No matter your opinion on social media, it is probably a prominent part of your life. In fact, it is probably how you will find this article.

It is no secret social media has taken over the world. It allows anyone and everyone to post, share and promote thoughts and ideas globally.

This is a very recent power, one that was not even available 10 years ago. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility.

Recently, social media has brought about several positive body image campaigns. This is wonderful and necessary because it combats society’s skewed and unattainable perception of beauty.

Society is controlled by the media through movies, TV shows, commercials, mainstream songs, etc.

Before social media, the “common people” (the ones who do not create the media) had no way to reverse society’s influence.

With social media, everyone has a voice, so everyone has the ability to redefine beauty and promote acceptance of all.

Several body positive videos, articles and hashtags have emerged recently. The video, “What If I Know That I’m Beautiful,” condemns a variety of pop songs that imply women are only beautiful when they are oblivious to it.

It denounces the idea that a woman’s insecurity is a coveted trait. It exposes the inherent grossness of the way society looks at women: delicate, insecure people who need to be reassured of their worth through compliments about their external appearance.

It literally sneers at the need for male validation.

As I scrolled through the comments of the video, the positive impact of the video was eminent.

Women liked, commented and shared with a sense of empowerment. Even men were responding positively, agreeing women should recognize and embrace their inherent worth.

Additionally, many body positive hashtags have recently arisen. An example of this is #ThighReading. As a spoof of palm reading, thigh reading is “reading” a woman’s thigh, which could contain scars, stretch marks, etc.

Since society airbrushes and conceals, we rarely see women with “imperfections” -- the women society shows us are perfect, with perfect hair, perfect makeup and perfect bodies.

It is imperative to remember these women are not actually perfect. Society works hard to make them look perfect, through hours of preparation and digitalized editing.

If a woman on a magazine cover has marks on her thighs, they will be covered and zapped off. Thus, #ThighReading is delightfully refreshing.

Though we know in the back of our minds that society’s view of women is not real, it is nice to be reminded of that through real people who are actually proud of their thighs.

The way to promote acceptance is to rearrange normalcy, which is what social media has been doing lately.

We must normalize women recognizing their own inherent worth, like through the video. We must normalize scars and stretch marks, like through #ThighReading.

If things are considered normal, they are naturally accepted. We have become so desensitized to abnormality – like unhealthy self-esteem in women and the eternal battle to lose weight. But what if we made those things “weird” again?

What if it was considered strange to care about your weight as opposed to your health? What if the second a girl put herself down, 10 girls immediately lifted her back up?

My only concern with the recent influx of body positive movements on social media is that it has become trendy, and trends do not last.

We have to ensure body positivity never ceases now that it has begun. We have to fight society’s perception until society itself changes.

Though this sounds utopian and unattainable, we now have the power; social media has granted it to us.

Now we have the choice: Are we going to use our power for good or evil?