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Self Care & Body Empowerment

Navigating Social Media and Self-Care with Beauty Content Creator Jaclyn Forbes

Mediaplanet sat down with influencer Jaclyn Forbes, a pro makeup artist and beauty and lifestyle content creator, to chat about self-love and self-care, how to resist societal beauty standards and pressures, and how to handle criticism and negativity.

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As someone who advocates for self-care, positivity, and women’s empowerment, can you share a personal experience or moment that inspired you to become involved in promoting these important causes?

It’s so interesting for me to think about there being a specific moment where I actively decided that I wanted to advocate for those topics, because in so many ways, focusing on self-love and empowerment seemed engrained in who I was from a young child. Having a strong female role model like my mom is 100 percent the reason I am the way I am. Watching someone lead through example is always the best way to get inspired. I owe a lot to my mom for laying the foundation and instilling those values in me at a young age. My mom would deliberately teach me things and overtly say, “The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one, because at the end of the day, the only guaranteed constant you have in your life is you.” She’s always encouraged me to have a healthy relationship with myself and to prioritize self-care. Having that encouragement at a young age was beyond impactful, and in some ways, in current day, is almost like muscle memory. Beyond my mom, I continue to be inspired by the people around me, particularly women who have had to overcome barriers and continue to do so, both unapologetically and with grace. I genuinely feel that everything I’ve learnt, or everything I strive to be, is an amalgamation of those around me.

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Many women grapple with societal pressures to conform to certain beauty standards. How can we empower women to embrace their unique qualities and resist these pressures?

Empowering women to reject unrealistic beauty standards is a work in progress that takes a collective effort from individuals and society. 

Photo credit: Daniel Byun

Hopefully through encouraging more representation, self-acceptance, and self-esteem-building practices, we can help people resist these harmful pressures. On an individual level, promoting a positive body image can be encouraged through the way we speak about ourselves and others, but I also think that sharing or consuming realistic content helps. I like to keep the feed of content I’m consuming as healthy as possible — which for me means deliberately following a diverse range of people, and unfollowing or muting certain social media accounts that make me feel bad about myself. I actively choose to not follow people who I know heavily engage with altering or photoshopping their photos. It’s not healthy for me to allow myself, even if subconsciously, to believe that those pictures are reality. Even as someone who works in the space and should “know better,” it’s easy to forget, which is why when it comes to social media, teaching media literacy is so important. I’ll never forget being in grade five and watching the Dove Evolution video, which showcases the step-by-step process of creating an advertising campaign — from the bare-faced model at the beginning, to hours of full glam and meticulous photoshop, to the final image appearing on the billboard. That video is from 2006 and still feels relevant, despite technology being so much more advanced and the exposure to photoshop being at an all-time high. Teaching young people how to critically analyze social media, recognize what face-altering filters are, and be able to distinguish what is quite literally not real is so important. On a smaller scale, as someone who works in the beauty space and creates makeup content, I love to share a healthy mix of my unfiltered, bare face in my videos, as well as showcasing my art and a fully made-up face. Sharing a balance of exposure to both of those sides is healthy for me, and hopefully my community. I love to showcase the power of makeup, but also in a realistic way. Leading by example is something I feel strongly about. 

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Handling criticism and negativity can be a part of public life. How do you deal with negative comments or criticism, and what advice would you give to others facing similar challenges?

With negative comments, I feel like the correct advice to give is to say “just ignore it” or “don’t look at the comments,” but realistically, sometimes ignoring it isn’t possible. Sometimes it feels like you just can’t help it, and curiosity can get the best of you, especially when it’s so easy to open the comment section. To a degree, I think handling criticism is a skill that can be developed over time and constructive feedback can be helpful, especially working in a creative field. That doesn’t mean it makes you entirely immune — I think it’s natural to feel hurt or defensive at times, especially if you’re already having a bad day. The best advice I ever heard was to accept that both the best and the worst comment you receive aren’t rooted in reality and that you shouldn’t put any weight on them, whether good or bad. Working on strengthening my relationship with myself only builds my resilience and confidence, which makes negative comments sting way less. Also, when it comes to sharing on social media, the reality is, sharing so much of yourself online is bizarre and opens up room for criticism. Ultimately, we as individuals have the power and choice to not share online, close the app, or turn the phone off, and it’s knowing your boundaries on when to do that. 

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From your perspective, what steps can individuals, especially women, take to build self-confidence and resilience in a society that often imposes unrealistic expectations? 

Working on developing habits to promote self-confidence and resilience can take time. A phrase that’s really been resonating with me lately is “protect your peace,” which for me means limiting my exposure to negative influences, having self-compassion, setting boundaries, and building a strong support network. It sounds so simple, but it isn’t always necessarily easy. I feel my best when I’m surrounded with people who make me feel good, supported, and challenged in healthy ways. I’m so grateful for my support network, specifically for the incredible female friendships I have in my life. I also think the more I gain new skills or experience, whether they’re work-related and tangible or socially through travelling and simply meeting new people, the more I’m offered wonderful perspective that gives me more confidence. I’ve always been a very curious person and I try to keep that child-like sense of excitement about new things. Ultimately, I think lifelong learning not only boosts confidence, but also helps people adapt to changing circumstances and be better-equipped for potential challenges.

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Finally, what message would you like to convey to women and individuals who are striving to love and care for themselves more fully while promoting positivity and empowerment? 

I’d like to believe that in 2023, and with mental health conversations becoming more and more de-stigmatized every day, most people know that self care isn’t just throwing on a fancy face mask and taking a bubble bath. Sure, it can look like that for some people… ahem, me sometimes… but it goes layers deeper than what you see at face value. Prioritizing self-care is an act of self-love. Ever since I was young, I’ve always struggled with the negative connotation of the word selfish. Of course, I don’t think lacking consideration for others — which is often tied up in the traditional definition of the word “selfish” — is a good thing, but I do think that prioritizing yourself is important, and societally this isn’t something women have been encouraged to do throughout history. So let’s redefine the word selfish: taking small moments for yourself, whether going for a walk with a friend, having a tech-free evening, working out, or making a homemade meal, are all simple acts of self-love and are “selfish” in a positive way. I also think having a healthy inner voice and talking to yourself kindly goes so far. We’re all so hard on ourselves! Embrace your quirks and do your best to stay authentic to yourself and your values — you’ll attract the right people and opportunities that way.

Connect with Jaclyn on Instagram and TikTok @jaclynforbes, and subscribe to her YouTube channel at

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