I haven’t written anything personal in a while yet I think it’s about time that I do so, especially seeing as I’ve got a certain issue on my mind; body positivity.
Social media is great. It helps us connect with people that we may never have had a chance to encounter otherwise. It builds friendships, has helped many to find love, provides hours of fun and can be a great motivational tool (if you’re following the right feeds). On the other hand, there are a few issues generated from social networks that are pretty unhealthy to say the least. It can cause feuds, end relationships, feed our shopping obsessions, leaving your bank balance feeling pretty sorry for itself, and can turn even the most sane of us into obsessive stalkers. It’s OK, we’ve all been there.
The thing is, actions that would be frowned upon in real life become acceptable in our online world. We can see everything and if we can’t, we’ll find a way to do so. Crazy, I know.
‘What does this have anything to do with body positivity?’ I hear you say. Well, let me explain. Everything that we see and become obsessed with online, sparks how we feel in person. When we feel inadequate on social media, we also feel it in real life. Yes, it can bring the highs, but it can bring us crashing down just as quickly.
World renowned author, Paulo Coelho, writes that, ‘Two things prevent us from happiness; living in the past and observing others.’ Let’s focus on the latter. Yes, we are able to observe people in person, yet a deeper insight into lives from across the world is so easily accessible via social media that we can’t help but to look at it. With observation comes analysis and the dangerous act of comparison.
‘OMG, that bikini is amazing.’ *Clicks onto bikini page* ‘Ohhh that girl looks great in it…’ *Clicks onto girl’s feed* ‘Look how stunning she is!’ *Studies a few images* ‘How does she get her waist to be so tiny?!’ *10 images later* ‘Why aren’t my boobs that big… No, her butt cannot be real! Seriously, look how toned her legs are. If only I looked like this…’ *Now studying every single one of her friends* ‘All of these girls are gorgeous. I’m so ugly, hate my belly, wish my bum was bigger, oh and I’m getting a boob job.’ *Scrolled way back to 2015 on several Instagram accounts, now knows bikini girls life story and has eaten three packets of crisps while acquiring all of this really useful information*. You get the idea.
The thing is, it’s so easy for us to doubt our own image (amongst other things but let’s stick to image for the sake of this post) that we suddenly have insecurities that we weren’t quite so concerned about before and do you know what the worst part is? Social media isn’t real. The forced poses, 100’s of snaps before we get the right shot, filters and if we’re taking it to another level, bought followers and editing apps. You wouldn’t believe how many girls edit their pictures to make their boobs and bums bigger and waists smaller and it looks so believable. All of this for the gram, perhaps to hide their own insecurities and to portray a life that’s a little bit shinier than it actually is- making anybody admiring it feel a little less sparkly.
So I ask one thing. Carry on with social media and spend your time on their as you please, but do remember to take everything with a pinch of salt and most of all, don’t forget to focus on your own body more than anybody else’s. The most powerful thing- even more powerful than social media- is your own sense of self worth. Feeling more confident in our skin can have a number of benefits on our attitude, drive and success. Embrace your body with all of it’s beauty and flaws. Love it, rock it, live in it and try tell me that doesn’t feel great.