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December 4, 2022

Algorithms are damaging body positivity and creating stigmas

I’m Rhyanna Watson @openheartscanunite on IG. A mum, yoga teacher, fitness trainer, wellness consultant and a person who like most of us has experienced pain and heartbreak, as well as incredible joy and love. ⁣

People say social media is not a real place, however it makes a difference to so many lives. It gives a voice, a community, business opportunities, friendships, places for healing, learning and growing as well as the negative like bullying, harassment, non inclusive forms that create mental health issues, depression, sickness, business loss and life loss etc.  It is a very important part of our modern day society and can be for healing when used with love, compassion and respect; it can change lives.  Just in the last years my friends daughter, found out she had secondary cancer.  They were able to raise the money to travel from Australia to America for trials of a cancer treatment to give her a fighting chance to beat this cancer. She is now in remission. My yoga teacher currently his wife is battling cancer they raised enough money for treatment too. It is a powerful space and just like time only heals when we use it for healing, social media is only powerful and rewarding when used well. ⁣

Essentially I am just an ordinary girl trying to do her best. I started instagram in 2014 with the intention of having a space to express myself from the heart in a world where that can often feel tough to do.  Including showing images of my own body to encourage others to accept theirs.  I had been working in the world of fitness training for several years before this, so it felt like a natural expansion to share some of my experience I had gained online to help others.  Plus I had started exploring yoga just the year before and was feeling inspired by the incredible soulful way in which it was allowing me to reconnect with my body, mind and heart after an extended period of trauma, disconnection, sadness, darkness and depression that had led to an attempt on my life. ⁣

On social media I want to present many aspects of myself and character from fit, strong and flexible to fun, warm and friendly: from open, honest and vulnerable to playful, sensual and sometimes just real life, showing that I have no idea why I am doing this but here goes it anyway.  My goal is to show wholeness – the full spectrum not perfection. I am making a choice to be not just one thing society deems worthy.  I am simply being the only person I can be, me, and all of me. ⁣

I believe people do not follow me. I believe we are an open hearted community of like minded souls all walking each other home, as we are reconnecting with our authentic selves, accepting responsibility of all aspects of our authentic selves to empower ourselves and others.⁣

My engagement over the years have been deeply impacted on many socials my the algorithms and stigmas and untruths. On instagram have had many people say they stopped seeing my account. On YouTube I have posted a simple bikini yoga professionally shot and had a strike on my account and the video removed for adult content (it stated and nearly lost my account), whilst others post bikini content to their hearts content.  I do not wish to pay for growth I wish to be authentic and real but it is very hard to do so when social media and others does not celebrate us or get caught up in stigmas and untruths.⁣

I believe the increase in shadowbanning and blocking/removal of body-positive and sex positive  content on social media has occurred due to our inability to separate sexual, sensual and art culture and many pörn sites taking many social media videos on to their sites disrespecting and making everything sexual.  So many people have been shamed and punished because of this culture of disrespect and we need to understand we as humans create it by our behaviours, comments and fear and can change it by the way we react and treat each other. ⁣

I believe that the future holds possibilities if we work together to educate and share with love, compassion and respect. If we take time to use social media more wisely everything will change. The only constant in life is change. When you are going through a storm you know you are onto something. It is just we have to endure the storm and make sure we do it with kindness as we journey these rough confusing waters together. ⁣

Youtube is even more closed than Instagram as mentioned above.  Any bikini video or short exercise shorts video is automatically not available for advertisement and is also classified as sexual nature.  It saddens me because we are teaching our future generation sexual is everything fitness, yoga and more.  However I can go to the beach in my bikini with my daughter receiving no disrespect from others nor am I damaging my daughter.  I can go to a sauna in Europe and sit naked with 30 other naked souls and we chat like we are at a coffee table and there is not one complaint about a body, sexual comment, disrespectful actions or judgment’⁣

We need to realise the two fold realties we are building and the harm these algorithms are creating.  It is not the body that is the problem, it is the way in which we respond, our true responsibility and game changer. We are educating the perspectives of yöung minds in the wrong way.  Social media is so real what we feed our minds becomes reality and this is why we are all struggling on social media for the reality we are creating is harmful, aggressive, disrespectful, fake perfect lives, everything sexual and non inclusive platforms’⁣

I feel very uncomfortable often now on social media. We as content users are getting so much mean-spirited feedback from the platform and people using it. It shows sadly how restricted and conditioned so many people are in their thinking today. In order to make a stand against the haters and these platforms we need to love each other harder. If we reject people’s attempts to define us in narrow-minded ways and instead accept responsibility for all aspects of our authentic selves, we empower ourselves in the process. ⁣

I do not believe anyone is treated the same on socials and there is so much confusing and injustice.⁣

Yes the algorithm reflects its biases strongly. I do not wish to label the biases or bring any further attention to them.  What we focus on is what becomes life.  So lets remember we can admire physical form in the same ways as we might admire a painting. However like art the human body only becomes truly great when it makes us feel something more and expand.  So let us all start to let others reclaim their bodies and we do the same. Let us all be allowed to experience our home, our masterpieces that we are born with or created. ⁣

Let us stop shaming our human bodies they are a gift for life.  So many people see it in a sexual way only and are threatened and offended by it and feel the need to judge and make assumptions and critique.  Maybe it is time for us all to see this is based on our own limiting learned beliefs and perceptions not the ones we shame and judge and all start working on ourselves and what we can do to make the changes we want to see instead of trying to make it through others. ⁣

I believe maybe we should stop asking what is wrong with other people and their choices and behaviours and instead ask ourselves what we need to change in society so that innocent things like nudity and choice of clothing no longer carry these heavy biases and stigmas and power to make people act from a place of judgment, shame and fear and instead give cause for respect, love and celebration’⁣

Thank you for being the change in this world.
Blessings Rhy

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