Are you happy with the way you look? Are you satisfied about how your body figure is? If not then share your anxieties at #RealConvo on Instagram. Yes it is a bit difficult task but it is the bravest thing you can do. We are all concerned by the way we look. Recent surveys have shown that body image are making people depressed and suicidal.
The Mental Health Foundation, a charity mission in UK is organising the Mental Health Awareness Week from May 13 to May 19 and the theme for this year is Body Image. The Foundation is encouraging people to speak about their personal stories on this topic.
In order to raise awareness on this issue Instagram co-launched #RealConvo campaign with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), based in New York. Conceptualised by AFSP, #RealConvo is aimed at discussing mental health and approach the subject proactively. The organisation encourages more people to use hashtags and share stories regarding their personal mental health experiences and the struggles they had to face.
Justyn Bravescar a filmmaker, blogger, mental advocate has shared his story about how anxious he was about the scars that were on his body. These scars were the result of accidentally pouring boiled water over his body. This has resulted in severe burns in all over the upper parts of his body.
“ As my scars were covered much of the time it was very much an internal battle for me,” said Justyn, 25. It was only during recent years he was able to accept those scars and recognise them as part of his body. He now has tattoos that celebrate scaring.
The AFSP Instagram account has launched the campaign with the help of 9 people who are against the notion that Instagram is exclusively for sharing positive moments, filtered photos and perfect lifestyle.
Each of them who are activists, actresses, entrepreneurs, writers have made a video and shared their experiences and had encouraged others to come up with their story.
“ I wasn't sure what was going on with my health, so I put out a post that said , “I am under construction” explains actress Sasha Pieterse who is on the TV show “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”.
Jari Jones a model, actress, activist, shared her decision to be honest on Instagram. “I think the more we have conversations about mental health the less stigmaised it becomes and Mari Guadalupe, a blogger, had shared her picture wearing a bathing suit and eating pizza on Instagram saying how she was diffident about the way her body looked. “This body is a glorious one. It's one I worked extremely hard for. No it's not the fittest or the flattest but it's healthy. It's a body out of recovery. It's 20 pounds of sacrifice and comfort all in one,” she noted.
Dancers Donte Colley and Sydney Magruder, Jazmine Alcon, a 19-year-old student and founder of Risine Zine, writer Vivian Nunez, Gabby Frost a mental health advocate and an entrepreneur, food-truck owner Chef Roro have also shared their stories to spur people to share their stories through Instagram.
Laura Jane has created an illustration for #realconvo which says “Talking about mental health should and could be a normal as talking about physical health. This point has much relevance now.”
The discussion sums up that a person is not defined by his or her physical strength but by the courage and attitude and that it's ok to be not ok.