Unfiltered: Navigating Social Media's Impact on Women's Well-Being


Welcome to the Light Her Project podcast,

Real Women.

Real Talk.

I'm Rachel Strella.

And I'm Vixen Divine.


So, for anybody who's actually physically

watching us, you might first notice a few


One, I have headphones.

First time for everything.

All right now.

All right.


So hopefully this cuts down any chirping

noise that you might be hearing that

despite everything that we try to edit


All right.

So that's a great one.

You might also notice that we have a new


So we're upgrading our brand a little bit,

getting more sophisticated.

Love it.

Love it.

So, you know, how's your week going so far



So my week is going fantastic.

Can I tell you why?

Can I tell you why?


I don't want to hear any good news.

Of course, tell me.

I got great news.


So it's the little things they say, you

know, they talk about.

I ordered them.

I'll show you probably next time we


But everyone knows, like, I love purple,


Love lavender, purple, that sort of thing.

So one of the shopping networks, major

shopping, I forget which one.

Anyway, I'm up because I'm up at midnight.

I'm up at midnight and I just happened to

have it on.

I just unplanned.

They had mugs, like 40 ounce double

walled, like the heat stays in for eight


It stays cold for 24 hours, but purple and

lavender set.

I was like, what?

With the straw caps, like the whole deal.

I was like.

Oh my god, I have to have it.

It is a small things.

Like I swear to you, I understand.

I do.

Trust me.

I'm excited because it is warm out for a


Like it has been cold.

It has been raining.

The sun has been out.

It's in the 70s.

This is unheard of.

I know, right?

Aside from that, my week has been kind of


Like, you know, as women, we have to go

and get screenings and things like that.

And yeah, the dreaded, you know, mammogram

came back not so great.

So I got to go get more scans.

So it's just that kind of stuff where it's

never ending cycle of things that like,

are just facts of life.


And you know what?

It's the thing.

It's the waiting.

It's the not knowing.

Like that is what gets you.

It's not that there's necessarily anything

wrong, because these things go weird all

the time, but it's the little tiny

percentage that maybe just a little bit

like that, it will get you.

It's Google that will really get you

because I never heard of my particular

issue, you know, and when I'm Googling it,

you know, and they did the study and

there's four to six times more likely to

have breast cancer.

Okay, I thought well that's interesting.

So not exactly a fun way to go but no.

We can get hit by a bus tomorrow.


Google will get you every time.



Well, on to more positive things, or maybe

not, depending on our topic today.

So we plan to discuss the effect of social

media on our health and well -being.

So to kind of get ready for this

particular episode, I had us create a poll

that I sent out to a bunch of women just

to get kind of where they're at.


So things like, you know, how often do you

compare your appearance to others on

social media?

Do you feel pressured to look a certain


Things like that.

The results here weren't that surprising.

At the end of the day, I mean,

you're getting a lot of people that are in

that middle of the road thing where

they're feeling this often or sometimes.

Not so much like always.

And you do get some nevers.

But I would say the over over  50% are

often or sometimes on how they compare


And the same goes for the pressure that

they feel to look a certain way because of

what they see on social media.

Did you say that was over  50%?

Over 50 with a combination of often or


Hmm, that's actually a little disturbing.


You know, that's telling me, hey, okay,

ladies, we got to work on this whole self

-esteem, self -positivity thing.

Okay, but we'll talk more about that


No, we will.

And you know, one of the things is, you

know, do you ever feel anxious or stressed

while using social media?

58% sometimes.

So it's actually a little stressful.

Cyber bullying.

I was actually happy to see that the

experience of cyber bullying and negative

comments on social media and how they

impact their mental health.

Yeah, over  52% said never.

Oh, good.

That's really good.

There was like  37% that said rarely and

like a  10% that said sometimes, but not

an always or an often at all.

So that's really good.

Yeah, that's good.

And we were split four different ways on

how much, you know, they're spending time

on social media rather than engaging in

physical activities, you know.

What, you mean they're up at midnight?

Well, I mean, that's what I do.

I personally like,

I fall asleep on the couch a lot and then

I'll wake up I don't know what time

anytime between midnight and like 3am and

I can't get right back to sleep.

So it's time to scroll.


Now I don't know what kind of physical

activity am I going to be doing at two o

'clock in the morning anyway, but I'm sure

I could find other ways and what's funny

because one of the questions is does

social media interrupt your sleep vast

majority says never.

But if they're like me, where they wake up

and then they're like, I can't get back to


So I don't know if that interrupts it or


That could be a couple of different ways

because did it interrupt your sleep or

while you're awake, while I'm here, well.

There's nothing here that was super, super

--I mean.

One other thing I'll say too is, one of

the questions was, do you feel like social

media has a positive or negative impact on

your life?

And  85% of people had a neutral response

to that.

So it was neither positive or negative.

Okay, so they basically take it or leave


It's not super great, super negative.

Okay, well, okay.

At least it's not negative.

I mean, we had an opportunity

to ask some questions to, you know,

basically open answered stuff, you know,

like, you know, what would you like to add

about your experience?

And some of the things we've got was, you

know, overall, it's addicting.

It takes too much of my time.

It's a double edged sword, you know, it

can be interesting and annoying as well.

You know, it consumes too much of my head


So there's, yeah, I mean, this is what

life is now.

Well, you know what though?

Here's the thing, it's unpredictable.

Like even though you have certain people

that you probably frequent in your social

media, you know, on your timeline, you

still don't know what's gonna come next.

So you can't predict that it's all gonna

be positive, you know, coming down the

line because you don't know what people

are writing and you don't know what's

gonna come in the next thing or.

So it could be bad or you could perceive

it as bad.

So you just don't know.

So it's unpredictable.

So you can't keep it all happy and gay and

woohoo, you know.

It's not an encyclopedia.

That's for sure.

Well, let's talk about our personal

experiences here.

I talked a little bit about my sleep.

You know, how is this affecting us and our

impact on health?

And what's funny is that,

This podcast started because of feedback

that I was getting when I posted about

plastic surgery that I had in 2018 .

You know, where I had like a million views

on the first video that I posted about it.

And I think that one of the things for me,

it's hard because I follow a lot of

reality TV people.

I love watching reality TV, it's a vice.

And you know, I'll see these ladies from

Siesta Key and I'm like, man, I want to

look like that.

Or I'll see the people from Jersey Shore

who've all had plastic surgery and they

look amazing, you know?

But it's sometimes hard to like not

compare yourself.

And so for me personally, just on the

physical aspect, there's not really a full

way to escape that.

There isn't a full way to escape that, but

I think it gets a little dicey when you

really want to be that.

I saw this woman, she was, she had had

surgery, if I'm not mistaken, but she

wanted to look like what Harry, Prince

Harry's wife, Meghan, Meghan Markle.

And she had had some, like, when you start

to change yourself to look like some, that

person that you wanna look like, like it's

different than you could say, oh, wait,

wait, wait.

I want the eyebrows like that she has, you

know, and you're working, you know, that's


You know, you got that picture of her

brows and you're trying, like that's


That's just kind of your, you know, like,

oh, I want that.

But when you get to that level, that's

obsessiveness that you're like, I have to

be, like, you don't want to be you



That's different.

So I don't think it's bad to, cause as

women, you know, like I said, I'm the one

who go up,

hey girl, where'd you get that purse?

Those shoes look good on you.

Oh, where'd you get them?

You know, that sort of thing.

Oh, girl, you look good in that dress.

You know, I'm not afraid to say that, that

kind of thing.

So we're generally ones to talk about

things like that and find out and try, you

know, where'd you get that dress?

I'm trying it on too.

You know, try to be that, but we're not

trying to be her.

Right, right, right.


So do you have any kind of personal


From your perspective on how social media

has impacted your health and wellbeing?

It drives me nuts.

I'm just going to tell you, it drives me,

because I want it to be a certain way.

And because it's not that way, it drives

me nuts.

Because every time I think I have it

figured out, I don't.

And thank God for your company, Strella.

Because that really helped me for my

consistency because I felt it to me, it's

like a child who needs constant attention.

You know, without any thankfulness.


No, working in this field, I get it.

And my perspective is obviously a little

different because of that.

I really don't want to be on social media

during the day because I have to work in


You know, and that's kind of a funny

tidbit too.

Like there's been times where there's the

assumption that I'm on social media all


And I'll have like, I've had people get

really mad at me because they might've

posted something that they assumed that I

saw and because I didn't comment on it or

I didn't reach out to them or react.

They were like, man, you're a bitch.

Like you knew I had that nose surgery and

you didn't even comment, you know, or say

anything to me.

I was like, what nose surgery?

I had no idea.

There was like this assumption that I'm on

there and I was just, yeah.

So let's talk about, you know, one of the

things that I think is interesting about

social media is our best selves is how we

really want to show up.

And I, I think that we don't want to show

up as like, you know, we've got pimples,

our hairs all over the place.

We're looking sloppy that day.

Um, now on Tik- Tok I'll say it's a little


Like the vibe there is a little more real,

a little more like non polished, but

overall, like even people that are celebs

on Tik- Tok or like Tik- Tok stars, they

never look bad.

Even if they, they, they say that they

look bad.

Like you can't tell me they didn't put a

little makeup on before they did that.

So I think that we try to show up a

certain way on social media.

Um, and I think that that

can be what contributes to this feeling of

like, man, everybody else has this perfect

life, perfect look.

Well, you know, perfect is different for


But I see what you're saying as far as the

expectation almost to be have that more

perfection side of you show up as opposed

to the jean girl.

You, it's your fault that I show up like


I told you I would show up in a jeans and

t -shirt if you let me, but you don't let


See Rachel, y 'all keeps me in check.

She really does.

And I know she is the business and I'm a

massage therapist.

I'm all about comfort.

I'm like, ooh.

I'm like, is there something fluffier I

can put on?

And Rachel's like, no, you cannot come in

your onesie.

And I'm like, oh man okay.


So it's a matter of, and also about that

goes back also then to self -esteem

because like me, like, oh yeah, you best

believe I have a purple onesie.


I have no doubt, but I will not like for

me, I'm good.

I will show up in that, but some people,

like you said, they will always show up

like this, because they feel like it's an

expectation and they don't feel confident

enough to be their comfortable selves.


100% agree with that.

You know, so there's discussion about like

how the internet has changed.

You know, so one example that I got from

somebody on my team was like, in the past,

like hate comments were taken so


You know, and they're personal.

But now it's actually kind of embarrassing

because the people who who actually like

made those comments, you know, are now the

ones that are like being called out and

they'll delete it.

So that's an interesting kind of change.

What do you think?

Well, I think it's more of a what it

depends on what they wrote in the first


If they put the hate comments on, they're

like trying to embarrass someone else.

And this is generally what I see in this


They try to embarrass someone else, but

turns out that people are calling them out

for trying to be basically so perfect.

Like who, who the heck are you to say that

about someone else talking about how rude

they are.

There is a, what is his name?

Oh, I might have wrong.

There's an influencer.

He's in the workout space.

Like I could have this name wrong, but

it's like Johnny Swole or something.

He goes into gyms and he basically will

call you out for bad behavior in the gym.

And in some cases get you kicked out of

the gym because he'll send the video like

to the management of that establishment.

And a lot of times they'll be like

basically canceled because what they'll do

is they'll videotape somebody doing a


And as weird as it might be, they're doing

it for whatever purposes they're doing it

for, you know, their own, but the person

will talk about them, trying to embarrass

that person.

And then it comes, when he catches it, it

comes back to them as far as bad behavior.

And then they have consequences.

That's the one that comes to, comes to my


But I think that it's very serious and

people are trying to really think about it

now before they post that.

to make their, cause I'm not seeing as

many of them as I used to, because I think

people are realizing that this might



I'll say like when I posted my video, the

first one about my plastic surgery, I had

hundreds of comments and there was

probably about a quarter to maybe a third

of them that were not really nice.

And what was great though was that the

community kind of came to my rescue.

Like if somebody really posted something

horrible, that wouldn't even necessarily

do with my video.

somebody would be like, that's like,

you're wrong.

Like, you know, I mean, they would, they'd

come to your defense for you.

And I don't know that we were that

evolved, you know, when the internet

started out, like everyone's just like,

gee, what do I even say?

You know what I post?

Well, it is a thing where I think people,

it used to be just kind of the bad

behavior coming out, but now actually I

think people are beginning to speak up,

you know, not letting the bad behavior

stand more as they were letting it stand


And some of it still does, but now I'm

noticing that they are basically, like you

said, coming and jumping in, giving their

two cents as not letting it all be bad.


I agree with that.

Making you justify your comments.


So we've been around before, you know, the

internet was around.

Like somebody on my team said, I'd love to

know, you know, their thoughts about, you

know, before and after, because she's only

ever had the internet most of her life.

And so like that shaped her views of


So compare life as a woman before, you

know, and during the internet.

What does someone say we're older than


Which sounds really old, but we are.


But before the Internet, yes, you did not

have all these other women which you would

never meet.

You would never see.

You would never run into.

You did not have them to compare yourself


So all you had

were the people in your classroom or the

people in your block, people at the

grocery store, you know, in your

community, or if you travel, those people

to compare yourself with.

So it was a much smaller and, and they

didn't, and if you didn't take a picture

of them, you really didn't necessarily

really a hundred percent remember what

they look like, you know.

But now you can just snap that picture and


post it into your photographs and like

look at it all the time.

And which is not good.

It's just not good.

So it was more of a freedom.

I feel like it was more of a freedom.

And even if you compared yourself to Susie

down the street, you kind of didn't

because likelihood is you didn't have her

plastered on your wall.

You know, I was one of the late comers

with the internet.

I don't think I got it to like, about my

senior year.

So what did I do?

Like I read magazines, you know, like, I

don't know if anybody remembers YM

magazine, like that was like, that was

like the young and modern, like, that was

like the cool magazine that you read when

you were 13 if you're a real grown up, you

know, so like, that was what I compared

myself to, because I didn't even feel

like these were real people, because

they're not people I would see every day.

You know, it would be like, that's the

standard, but.

I didn't feel like it was anything I

necessarily had to be held to.

It's ironic that I say that because I look

at these reality TV stars all day on

social media and I'm like, man, I wish I

kind of looked like that.

Well, the difference too is in a magazine,

remember when we used to like cut the

pictures out of the magazine and paste

them on your wall?

Oh yeah.

But you knew they were celebrities.

Like they were celebrities and famous


Like you knew those weren't, that wasn't

Suzy down the street.


So you understood, but now they're taken

with the persona that we're giving off on

the internet of thinking that Susie down

the street really looks like that.

We're taking that freeze frame snapshot of

Susie and putting that in our pictures and

trying to be that because Susie down the

street seems to look like that.

But guess what?

When you see her in person, she really

doesn't look like that.

Or even the fact that like,

reality TV stars weren't stars 30 years


You know, they were just regular people

and how now they've become idolized and

they're celebrities.

That's true.

We didn't used to view people for really

no reason at all.

That's essentially what it is, right?

You know...

It used to be.

The reality is that's true.

I mean, okay.

Say yes to the dress, for instance.

All right.

Say yes to the dress.

Yes, it was an event.

If you went bridal shopping for your dress

with your mom, with your sister, and no

one else really cared about it.



Yeah, that's right.

That's a there is a huge involvement all

around from like the way that we're

entertained to like the social media

aspect of that like this just it's just

way different but for a lot of people they

don't know anything different now, you

know, even now even though I've spent half

of my life without the internet and half

of my life with it.

I don't know what my life was even like

back then like I'm so this is life now.


That's true.

So I don't think that I mean, as a


Back then and to now, I think it was a

more intimate experience.

The life was actually a more intimate

experience than now it's spread out not

only in your community, but it is spread

out throughout actually the world.

Your life can, you can reach someone being

in the United States, you can easily reach

someone in India.

Like with no, with just, what is it?



It's pretty crazy.


So we don't, in our podcast, we don't get

into like people that are experts or

anything like that here.

But I will say that one podcast came to my


It was a podcast by Brene Brown and she

interviewed Dr.

William Brady.

And the whole topic was about social media

outrage and polarization, which is

obviously kind of a great topic right now

as we're entering another presidential

election season.


And what he broke down was kind of


But the way he broke it down was simple.

And the simplified version of this is


Like, when we post something online, and

you get likes or comments, you know,

that's quantifiable for us.

And it's actually something that gives us

a social reward.

It's like, it's like Pavlov, the dog and

bells way I kind of say it, you know, you

get this reward

because of the audience reaction.

And that can actually, that's what can

cause like moral outrage because it can

get amplified really easily.

And the social media algorithms, they

amplify the stuff that's getting that


So the thing that got, that really got to

me was that he said that the things that

we do, you know, we're very sensitive to

whether we're getting these likes or not,

you know?

And if you're someone,

who has low self -esteem, for example,

your ego is like fragile.

So, you know, there's research that if

you're sensitive, you're more sensitive to

this social reward that comes with the

platforms and you're the more insecure you

are, the more susceptible to that social


So that's a generally pretty negative

thing is that we're expecting that reward

for whatever we're posting.

It's true, absolutely true.

Working with people with low self

-confidence, that is a sign, that is true

in the respect where some people need,

it's almost feeding their attention.

They need attention.

Some people, and so that's why you see

the, don't talk about me, but this is why

you see these people.

Like every five minutes, I swear they are.

They need that social love.

And they are waiting.

They are waiting for you to say, oh, that

looks good.

Oh, blah, blah, blah.

You know, and then, and if they don't get

it, they, they feel really bad and they

try and I'm noticing this.

If they don't get it, they start taking

clothes, their clothes off because they're

looking for any kind of self

esteem any kind any kind of boost from

anywhere they can get it right and so if

they're not getting it from...

You know what they say sex sells sex sells

so true and so they're getting it from

that and they're like, oh well I'll keep

doing this because this is giving me



And that's and a lot of times we can get

into it.

But a lot of times that comes all that

goes all the way back literally from

how you were raised and what you were

raised, the positivity or not that you

were raised with.


Well, before we end the podcast, one more

quick question for us, I think, is if we

could think of a positive or uplifting

experience that we've encountered on

social media as it relates to women.

So for me, one of the things I'll say

overall is that like,

when somebody posts about something that's

heartfelt, the community does come to your


And that could be man, woman, it doesn't


There's a death in the family.

There's something that you're struggling


I find that and I think that's one of the

best uses of social media.

But one thing that sticks out in my mind

is I have a friend who's amazing.

I think she's amazing.

She's got a PhD.

She was the top of her company.

She now owns her own business.

But she's just dislikes how she looks, you

know, and she posted on social media, you

know, because she was at the beach and she

was like, I really don't even want to show

my tummy, you know.

And everybody was like, Oh, my God, girl,

you are so beautiful.

Like, why would you even say that?

You know, and this is somebody who is like

a generally thin person.

But these are the things that we feel in

our head, you know, we don't like about



And it was great to literally see over a

hundred comments of people saying, you

know, don't think that way.

Like you look great and we love you.

That is a really good thing, but that

happens to us all the time.

We are our own worst critics.

No lie.

No lie.

How many times has someone come to me and

I'm doing a facial and they're like, right

here, right here.

And I'm looking at...

I can get the magnifying glass.

I'm like, I don't see it.

I'm like, okay.

But they see it every single time that

they look in the mirror because we are our

own worst critics and we are the hardest

on ourselves.

And honestly, it's what, stop the

magnifying glasses.

Like people don't walk up to you on a

regular basis with a magnifying glass.

Stop doing this to yourself in the mirror.

It's just not necessary.

It's, but we are, because of that, it goes

back to that validation.

But as far as having good positive things

that happen on social media, my good

positive social media thing, I think that

I've ever had has to be...


The fact that I can share things about my

autistic daughter.

And even though she doesn't really realize

what it is, like they seem to really, you

know, back her up, go Taylor, you know,

good things.

And she smiles about it.

And even though she doesn't really know a

whole lot about it, but you know, she just

likes it because, you know, grandma said

it or

Uncle Mike said it or, you know, that kind

of thing.

So she really likes that.

So family, I think is the best thing.

Honestly, though, I can give it, I can

give it or take it, leave it, whatever.



Yeah, I understand.

I totally do.

Well, this has been really great.

And I'd love to hear from the audience .

Leave us a comment about a positive or

uplifting experience you've had on social


That would be a really great way to kind

of keep this community going.

Well, I want to thank everybody for tuning

into the Light Her Project podcast.

I hope you like our new look.

You can follow the conversation online

with our hashtag.

And in the meantime, keep it real.

Real women.

With Real Talk.


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