Instagram has an astounding ability to build communities from the scratch, and health is not alien to that. There are surely different kinds of them, such as the one which advocated for a thigh gap, the finger trap test or the belly button challenge. But Instagram can also advocate for healthy lifestyles and fitness.
However, it’s kind of strange that this consideration of fitness and lifestyles appears together with lusty images of food porn. It is not the only food “hashtag” there is, since vegan, paleo and celiac communities also exist.
We seem to live in a society obsessed with weight control. We calculate, enumerate the calories of everything, we idolize anorexia and bulimia because they take sacrifice… And although there are many fitness-obsessed people on Instagram, they do not have anything that serves as a back-up.
Due to all of this, some people have started fighting back. #edfamily (Eating Disorders Family) is a hashtag under which families (real and virtual) try to make people realize that being extremely fit or thin or having the lowest BMI is not as important as their health.
What can we find tagged under #edfamily? First of all, food. Not fast, unhealthy food but deliciously-looking, appealing dishes, made to encourage those who want to get out of the disorder world – but not only that. People with their families and friends, showing us their going back to normal life, their progress and weight gaining, smiles and positive attitudes.
It is true that social media can make you fall on a vortex of eating disorders, but it’s also true that they can help you get out of it. Instagram has already blocked some accounts that promoted unhealthy lifestyles, but there’s a long way to go, virtually and personally, to self-acceptance.