Jordan Lee's "Soul Scripts" account is an example of how social media can be authentic and real.
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At the end of each day, I love scrolling through Instagram, browsing pictures of friends, food, and cute outfits from my favorite fashion accounts. Because I’m in the middle of a long journey to eat healthier and exercise more, Instagram could easily become a place of discouragement. After all, I don’t look like that model, I don’t dress like this fashion magazine says I should, and my dinner did not look like the latest food post from accounts I follow. For those of us who are struggling with health issues, it doesn’t help that everyone seems to have their lives so together on social media.
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In a recent study from Drexel University, researchers saw that health and body image struggles are rarely discussed in public. “Physical or mental health and body image concerns are stigmatized, rarely disclosed and frequently elicit negative responses when shared with others,” the authors wrote.
Yet, despite the social stigmas, people struggling with body images and mental health (like me!) are increasingly finding an incredible resource in some corners of Instagram.
More and more bloggers are finally raising the curtain and showing and discussing their own vulnerability and struggles to lead a healthy lifestyle. “We found that these disclosures, in addition to deep and detailed stories of one’s difficult experiences, attract positive social support on Instagram,” the study by Dr. Andrea Forte and associate professor Nazanin Andalibi concluded.
No longer just a place for fashion pictures and home decor ideas, the social media platform is becoming a haven for those struggling with physical or mental health and body issues. Although Instagram obviously shouldn’t replace therapy, counseling, or physical communities, it could be an incredible place for someone to find initial help in a hard circumstance and know they are not alone. If you’ve ever found comfort and healing from finding out that you’re not the only one suffering or struggling, you’re not the only one.
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It isn’t just the “likes” that people receive on their Instagram posts that help, the study found, but the comments from people going through similar struggles that truly make a difference in the healing process.
Jordan Lee is an example of one such Instagrammer. When I found Jordan’s Instagram, it felt amazingly refreshing, raw and real. Dealing with a mental illness, physical struggle, or emotional issue day after day is difficult — but being able to see other people going through the same thing can be a huge help. Instead of filtering her life to look perfect, she is proud of her messy hair, messy life, and a God who can transform the mess into a message.
Jordan’s slogan for her Instagram and website, Soul Scripts, is “Your Brokenness Is Welcome Here.” But her sisterhood community that she has created is not just for brokenness – it’s a place of healing and beauty.
In a letter to her blog readers, Jordan writes, “My prayer is that my writing makes you feel something… that it helps you experience God’s heart when the world breaks yours.” She doesn’t shy away from hard topics like eating disorders, depression, anxiety and the shame that so many women feel when they don’t measure up to the world’s standard of “perfect.”
Jordan started her ministry of Soul Scripts for all Christian women. Her website says that the Sisterhood is built for “the cookie-cutter Christian girl or the seemingly put together, successful girl because she needs God too – she’s broken, too. It’s also for the discouraged, disheveled, struggle bus of a girl. Oh, and for the girl who wouldn’t let her friends know she ever came to this kind of party. It’s for the girl who doubts God’s goodness and desperately needs a friend.”
Jordan’s honesty has inspired me to be more real on my social media accounts. After all, we have to come alongside each other and not be afraid to be vulnerable. Asking for help and seeking community does not make you a failure because you don’t have it all together – it makes you brave.