Understanding Online Serophobia: How Hate Speech Against People Living with HIV and AIDS is Evolving
By Gemma JoyceNov 30
How has living through a pandemic changed consumer behavior and perceptions?
Published September 4th 2020
Some of the best parts of social media are the opportunities to bring one another up, to appreciate ourselves, and to encourage healthier and happier mindsets. While there are pockets of negativity, the internet is also a home for the growing body positivity movement and the promotion of self-care.
While these messages have been circulating on social media for many years, we found that they’re currently having a real moment.
Using our Consumer Research platform, we looked at English-language body positive mentions (language relating to loving our own bodies, curves, and selves) as well as hashtags (like #bodypositive and #loveyourself) from January 1 2017 to August 31 2020.
Here’s what we found.
Mentions between March and August 2020 were up 33% compared to average volumes for this period over the last three years. They hit fever pitch in July 2020 when they were 80% above the historical average volume for this month.
From January 1 2017 to August 31 2020, “self-care” was the most common keyword within body positive conversation, with 21m mentions on social media. This was followed by “good” and “beautiful” with 18m and 15m mentions respectively.
We also found that mental health and body positive conversation went hand-in-hand – there have been 11m mentions of “mental health” in relation to body confidence since 2017. These mentions focused on how body dissatisfaction can harm mental health and what others can do to help themselves.
Lockdown seemed to propel the conversation upwards. Topics didn’t change too much during this period, but had more focus on people appreciating their natural look.
We also noted that time was a huge factor. People said that it took a lot of time to get used to and love their body for what it is, and that lockdown gave them more time for self-care.
Given the prominence of self-care in the body positivity conversation, we’d be remiss not to give it its own space.
When we used our Consumer Research platform to look at self-care (which relates to any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health) we found that mentions from January to August of 2020 had increased 82% compared to historical average volumes for this period.
Many of the themes in self-care conversations were similar to those within the body positivity mentions. That said, we found several unique trends:
The pandemic has brought with it a lot of negativity, but this is one very positive trend that will hopefully contribute to a brighter, happier online experience for many. These honest, joyful conversations are packed with insights about new consumer priorities and practices around keeping themselves safe and well.