New campaign aims to combat social media-driven body image issues

The Butterfly Foundation has partnered with Instagram in a new marketing campaign called #TheWholeMe

The social media obsession with perfection is getting a drubbing with research showing social media is having a negative impact on body image.

To help combat this, The Butterfly Foundation, an organisation focused on body image and eating disorders, has partnered with Instagram on a new campaign called #TheWholeMe.

The work takes its cues from the Butterfly Foundation's new research, 2019 Insights In Body Esteem, a survey of over 5000 Australians aged 19-30. Preliminary results showed almost 58 per cent of consumers compare themselves to people on social media, and 50 per cent wish they looked like people on social media. In 2017, 43 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their appearance, increasing to 48 per cent in 2019. In addition, participants most frequently endorsed using social media at least daily (96 per cent) with a large majority reporting using it multiple times per day (71 per cent).

#TheWholeMe aims to be an empowering new campaign for teens and adults to support positive use of social media and sharing their lives in ways that feel comfortable and authentic. The campaign includes new resources, a video series and toolkits for teens and parents.    

These include quizzes, features and tips to encourage conversation about body image and overcoming social comparison. One toolkit for teens, for example, helps them share their authentic selves rather than a 'highlights reel' online, and is designed to assist them in considering other people’s posts do not always show the full picture. There is also a toolkit for adults to lift education on Instagram’s safety tools and how to have constructive conversations with young people about social media use.       

Also launching today is a new video series, featuring a range of young Australians talking about their experiences with body image and social media. Running across Instagram and Facebook, the videos display four stories about overcoming negative body image and how people can empower others by sharing their authentic stories on Instagram.  

The campaign launches as part of the Butterfly Foundation’s national Christmas appeal fundraising campaign.

“The preliminary results from our ‘Insights in Body Esteem’ survey indicate that social media plays a significant role in shaping how young people view their bodies,” Butterfly Foundation CEO, Kevin Barrow, said.

“We know when young people are dissatisfied with their bodies and constantly comparing themselves, they can turn to ‘quick fixes’ that could potentially develop into an eating disorder. These concerns are a top priority for Butterfly and collaborating with Instagram has been an important step in addressing them.

“Instagram is truly leading the way in terms of making social media a safe place for young people that is less about comparison and more around meaningful connections. We’re incredibly proud of this campaign and we hope it inspires people to use Instagram intentionally and authentically.”

Instagram Asia-Pacific public policy manager, Philip Chua, said the social media platform wants young people to feel empowered to use Instagram in ways that feel safe and comfortable for them.

“We created these resources to combat any pressure people may feel to present a perfect image of their lives online, and to support their authentic expression online and on Instagram," she stated.

"We’re honoured to work with the Butterfly Foundation, one of Australia’s leading organisations in the fight for positive body image, and their expertise in crafting these helpful tool kits and videos has made #TheWholeMe powerful for young people and parent’s alike.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.     

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