“All I see is insta perfect girls and their perfect bodies and it’s hard to love my body”
That was a message that I received from one of my instagram followers a few weeks ago. While it breaks my heart, it really doesn’t surprise me. When we are consistently exposed to images that consist of, the perfect angle, imaginary heels to elongate the legs, underwear pulled up higher to make the waist and stomach look smaller, stomach sucked in, bum pushed back and a kicked out hip – it’s no wonder we’re struggling to love and embrace our bodies.
Our social media feeds have become a snapshot of highlight reels; most shots are perfectly constructed images, edited and enhanced with photoshop and a filter or two. They say that we are the social media generation and while I think that is awesome, the content that we are exposed to daily, hourly, has left us in a place where it is increasingly difficult to decipher between what’s reality and what’s not. What’s acceptable and what’s not – especially when it comes to our bodies.
It’s very rare that we see a body in its natural state.
I have to say that it saddens me, that when a woman posts a photo of herself standing naturally or sitting down with stomach rolls, or with cellulite, it’s somehow revolutionary. It’s brave and it’s amazing, I get that – but I mean revolutionary in the sense that we’re shocked to see it, because we’ve been conditioned to believe that stomach rolls, cellulite or just standing like a human being is somehow unnatural, not beautiful. Yet this is what we look like 99.9% of the time and we hate ourselves for it.
I remember, I would purposely turn my back to the mirror in my bathroom when I got undressed to have a shower, because I was so disgusted and pained by what I saw. I walked around every moment of every day sucking my stomach in. I would position myself on the edge of a chair when I sat down, so if people walked by they wouldn’t see my legs squished together.
If I was at the beach and had to sit crossed legged I would drape a towel or top over my stomach out of fear of my stomach rolls. Those mirrors in dressings room where they show your body from the front and behind – well I would avoid them at all costs.
I struggled with my body for years on end. I used to look at myself in the mirror and think what have I done wrong, why am I wrong? I would consistently manipulate my body, the positions, poses and angles that it would be seen in. Why? To feel or appear more beautiful, more like the girls on instagram or in the magazines.
It was tiresome, exhausting and really, really uncomfortable.
Over time, I’ve realized that our bodies, everyday, in every moment, shift and change, from position to position and angle to angle. Whichever position or angle your body takes, doesn’t make you any less beautiful, or any less worthy or deserving of love. It’s your body in its natural state and I can’t help but think, how magical, revolutionary and beautiful that is.
Your body is beautiful from every angle, don’t hate it – embrace it.