Social Media Bodies: Revealing the Entanglement of Sexual Well-being, Mental Health, and Social Media in Education

  • Natalie Ann Hendry


While media and youth research reveal the intersectionality of young people’s sexual well-being, mental health, and social media practices, little attention has been paid to how this entanglement is addressed in education. Pedagogy that is not informed by a nuanced and interconnected understanding of young people’s everyday experiences of sexual well-being, mental health, and social media is likely to be ineffective and inadequate. I describe a workshop activity with young people experiencing mental ill health that uses bodies as a metaphor for social media, allowing participants to reveal and discuss their experiences, attitudes, and values through dressing up and illustrating “social media bodies.” I outline three themes that arose from the workshops: revealing and destabilising affordances, the spatial and temporal affordances of social media, and young people’s affective relationships through and with social media, and advocate for an intersectional approach to sexuality education, one that is necessarily complex and ambivalent.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Ann Hendry
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Media and CommunicationRMIT University, and the Young and Well Cooperative Research CentreMelbourneAustralia

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