Latest news | 20 Oct 2021

Butterfly urges people to think before you “shame” your lockdown body


20 October 2021

  • Call for Aussies to post on social media with care to avoid accidental triggers
  • Butterfly Foundation urges kindness and consideration
  • Tips for self-care and support as we re-enter society

As many Australians emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns, Butterfly Foundation, the national charity for eating disorders and body image issues, is issuing a plea to consider disordered eating and body image issues when posting memes, jokes and commentary around weight gain, needing to lose weight, or extreme dieting.

“It’s easy to bemoan the impact of lockdown, and while we know that many of these posts are in jest, what people may not be aware of is that these posts could be inadvertently triggering for the more than one million Aussies living with an eating disorder,” said Butterfly Foundation’s National Manager of Prevention Services, Danni Rowlands.

“We’re saying think before you post – and be kind to yourself.

“After being confined to our houses for months on end, it’s normal to feel anxious about returning to a pre-lockdown life. It’s important we are kind to ourselves and our bodies during this time.

“Negative body image conversations, that might position being fat as morally bad, unacceptable or something to avoid can be triggering for people living with, or at risk of an eating disorder.

“We know that people’s worth cannot be defined by appearances; although it can be hard to remember this when we are bombarded by social media content that says the complete opposite,” said Danni.

As part of its plea to consider disordered eating and avoid publishing  triggering content, Butterfly Foundation has developed a series of tips for self-care and support around social media:

Be mindful of the things you post

Share with sensitivity – not everything has to go online and making jokes about others’ appearance or body shape is never okay. Consider that, as we emerge from lockdowns, some people may be more sensitive than others.

Report and block upsetting content

If something upsets or triggers you, and you feel like it is unsafe information, you can always report the content. This will then alert the social media platform to investigate, and if it is found to go against their guidelines it will be removed. You can also block content or users, which can take immediate effect in reducing the harmful content you see.

Mute conversations or take breaks from content that is unhelpful

If you find people, even friends, who you follow online are sharing unhelpful and toxic body talk in relation to their lockdown body – mute, unfollow, snooze. By reducing what you see, read, and hear you are protecting your body image and self-esteem.

For more information on how to support Australians living with eating disorders as we emerge from lockdowns, visit the ‘Where do I start?’ page on the Butterfly Foundation website ( ), go to

or contact our Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673).


Media Contacts

Alex Cowen

Communications Manager

Ph: 0497 008 716



Mark Henderson

Edelman for Butterfly Foundation

Ph: 0431 465 004




Editor and producers note: Please include the following support line details in all media coverage of this story and refer to the Mindframe Media guidelines for safe reporting on eating disorders. Please include the following helpline message.

Help and Support

Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact:

  • Butterfly National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE) or
  • Eating Disorders Victoria Helpline on 1300 550 23
  • For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14