In recent years social media has started to have a positive impact on the feminist movement. Modern day feminism is far from the outdated stereotype of a man-hating crusade, but instead a global drive for gender equality and advocacy of women’s rights. Whilst women are still seen to be underrepresented in traditional media, the rise of social media has encouraged women from all backgrounds to speak up and to be heard.
With many celebrities and digital influencers publicly embracing what it is to be a feminist, online movements are gaining greater momentum. From raising awareness of sexual harassment with the #MeToo hashtag, highlighting the reality of sexist experiences in the #everydaysexism project, to providing women with confidence through promoting body positivity. Social media is progressively being used as a force for good in the new feminist age.
And yet, despite this idea of community and empowerment across social media, we are still under pressure to conform to unrealistic ideals. Platforms remain plagued by individuals tearing one another down. Celebrities are trolled on a daily basis, some receiving death threats. Body positive models are criticized for promoting obesity, whilst runway models are slated for being too thin. We are quick to ‘like’ a complete stranger’s over-edited photo but scroll straight past a post from one of our peers. Whilst social comparison is at an all-time high, we must ask ourselves – what can we do to minimize the negative impacts that come with living in the digital age? And how can we ensure we are using social media in a positive way?
Start following accounts that focus on building each other up rather than bringing our confidence down. Get involved with influencer’s who provide an online community amongst their followers. Be more open to complimenting friends with uplifting comments. Actively share, post and engage with educational and empowering content to help create awareness of key global issues. And each time you visit social media, remember you have the ability to be that person who uses it as a force for good.