Having a positive body image may take some learning as you might not have the body that you think you want, but heck, it is the perfect one for you!
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Photos: Vanessa Nguyen
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The issues of low self esteem and negative body image are self-perpetuating on social media.
Now, this isn’t supposed to be a dig at those that are blessed with the legs and the hair and the abs at all – everyone has the right to be proud of what they are given! If you are proud of your body, who are we to rain on your parade? And that is just the thing. Everybody should be proud of what they are given. Curvy ladies should show off their curves, muscly girls should embrace their shapeliness, and lean, leggy girls should flaunt their figure. Heck, what ever your features, embrace them! As women, we should feel empowered by the incredible things that our bodies can do, and the uniqueness in each of our bodies.
Where my issue lies, is with #bodygoals, and Instagram ‘inspo’ pages that are heavily skewed towards certain ‘attractive features’.
Just as the fashion industry created an unhealthy body image by only hiring models of a certain size, height and look, so to is Instagram by constantly re-sharing and promoting images favouring certain body shapes, hair types etc. In a day and age where we are fighting so hard for equality on many grounds, it is a kick in the guts to see these issues manifesting themselves again, through no fault other than the unrealistic standards people are creating on social media.
The media shouldn’t be telling us what features are attractive, and what wanes in comparison. Media and advertising should promote the beauty in our differences, and help people fall in love with their own features. People in the social media and social advertising have a duty to show this diversity. Take one look at the @ootdsubmit or @fitazfk Instagram pages, and it’s blatantly obvious that a shake up is needed.
We are all made unique for a reason. It is the little differences in our appearance and demeanour that make us who we are.
So while you may not look like what the typical ‘insta-model’ does, know that your body is the right one for you! Heck, some days I wish my stomach was flatter and my legs were longer, but I know nothing is going to make my legs longer, and that my love of wine, cheese and Nutella toast leaves me with no hope of some killer abs. But you know what? This is the way I am made, and these are the choices I choose to make. I can either own my body the way it is, and strive to keep myself fit and healthy, or I can obsess and keep trying to achieve something that someone else has got.
Don’t compare. Don’t put yourself down. Love and take care of the body you have been given. We are all unique and beautiful!