The Jed FoundationGigi Robinson, Influencer, Advocate, Model
Reality or illusion? On social media, where filters and Facetune are ever-present, it’s increasingly hard to tell. And that’s to the detriment to today’s youth, girls especially. Even Meta, the tech giant behind Instagram, admitted in internal data that 32% of teen girls feel worse about their bodies when using the app. Of those who struggle with suicidal thoughts, 6% say the cause is Instagram.
Influencer Gigi Robinson, who spoke at our New York panel on #VBGIVESBACK Day, is hoping to change that. You may know her best for her work in front of the camera, like when she nabbed the cover of Sports Illustrated last year. What you may not know is that she’s made it her mission to help Gen Z navigate the tricky terrain of social media, mental health and body positivity through speaking engagements and her podcast, Everything You Need Is Within, which focuses on creators' mental health.
Robinson is also refreshingly open about living with a trifecta of chronic diseases, resulting in nerve pain, frequent injuries, lightheadedness and allergic reactions, among other things. But rather than let her condition bog her down, it further fuels her advocacy work.
Here, we chat with Robinson about all this and more—including her secrets to, as she puts it, “unlock your inner girl boss.”
No one is teaching us how to use social media properly so we don’t fall down the comparison hole. We need to train creators on how to leverage their own mental endurance and boost self-worth while also finding ways to detach from the digital world. No one is immune to the comparison loop; however, I think that it is essential to give ourselves grace. Social media algorithms are robots. We are human.
I set daily limits on how much time I spend on the platforms. And, whenever I post, I make sure that I get off the platform within the first 15 minutes so I am not distracted from my intention—which is always to share positive, uplifting content with my audience. I also make sure to engage with accounts that I find educational, entertaining and joyful—from recipes and stand-up comedy to farm animals, friendship memes and more. Outside of this, I love daily cold showers, my sauna blanket and reading before bed to detach from my phone.
I wanted to document my life living with health issues in hopes of helping others feel less alone as they navigated similar things.
We all have days that are great, and others not so much. I always tell people that it’s okay to give yourself the grace to let your condition ebb and flow. I think of the things that help me when I have flare-ups and make sure I give myself the time and space to take care of myself on those days. Sometimes, it is just a gentle reminder to take a break, slow down and cancel meetings. Other times, it is taking extra medication and continuing on with your day. Learning how to accept that helped me get to where I am now.
“It is essential to give ourselves grace. Social media algorithms are robots. We are human.”
I was inspired to launch this series because I did not see a show that was highlighting young, up-and-coming voices online. I also wanted to encourage listeners who were contemplating entering the world of social media as a creator to listen to the realities that many of us face, as well as advice on how to get started. Lastly, I wanted to create a space for advocates and activists to elevate their audience and communities so that Gen Z can feel less alone as they grow up!
I grew up in a household with very supportive parents who always encouraged me to chase my dreams. By going on that journey of achieving what was seemingly “too far,” I knew it was all mindset and that I had the power to navigate my life as I wanted to.
If you are struggling, it’s important to allow yourself to feel that uncertainty and know that eventually things will get better. It may take time, but you will get through it. Whenever I am struggling, I make sure that I take time to do something that nurtures my need for play—creating art, propagating plants, dancing, etc. Bringing a little joy into your everyday life can get you back on track with your goals.
I make sure that I drink loads of water—I love Simple Modern tumblers and load mine up with water multiple times a day. I utilize my Hatch alarm clock, both for waking up and winding down. And I make sure I nourish my body with yummy food all day—protein bars, salads, etc.