So International Women’s Day is here, a global day celebrating all things women, also a day many chose to raise awareness to topics effecting women. So, after last year writing about the importance of embracing natural beauty, this year I would like to cover the topic of ‘ideal body image’. The reason I have chosen this topic is because in the world that surrounds me, not a day goes by without overhearing a conversation about one’s body image or talking/thinking about it myself. I believe we have become obsessed with the way we look and it’s no wonder when we are consuming so much media content telling us how we should look and what we should do with our bodies and faces.
I worry more for the younger generation of girls who are spending so much time on social media, on Instagram especially, seeing unrealistic bodies of women who have worked their asses off (or on I should say) for years and even had surgeries to alter their natural body shape. This obsession with wanting to be certain shapes, sizes and measurements I believe has left so many people feeling inadequate and as though they are not good enough. For many, it is down to the people you follow and I think if something is making you feel bad about yourself you should unfollow them and follow people who have only positive influences on your lives.
The thing that stresses me the most is that the media tries to tell us what shape our bodies should be and even what is beautiful and what is not- the cheek!! The majority of time I see women celebrating unnatural bodies of people they aspire to be like. I would say most of the time, seeing all these perfecto bods only makes people hate themselves more rather than love themselves, resulting in them neglecting their bodies instead of giving themselves the care they need to grow healthily. Seeing so many ‘perfect’ bodies online makes many people feel as if they have to be a certain way to feel accepted. Well you don’t, only when YOU accept yourself you will feel accepted. Don’t let that go over your head.
It’s like when will it end????? Never my friend!!!!! Body shape ideals have been changing for as long as we have existed, they are different to everybody but generally go by trends. A sexy body to one person may be considered ugly by the next and vice versa. I had a conversation with my mum recently about how I inherited her skinny calves and she said “at least you got dads nice small bum”…. “A small bum in 2019 mum are you mad”…. “True haaa” – an example of how body ideals change over time!! Somebody perfect won’t even see perfect in themselves.
When you think of your life goals and dreams I bet a good body is not top of your list, perhaps a great career, beautiful home, luxury items or holidays. Just think, will all the worries you have now regarding your body even matter in the long run? Why do we worry so much about our appearance, I understand the whole look good feel good thing of course it’s true. But it’s not that deep, so why are so many of us putting so much focus into these trends and looks aspiring to be like somebody we’re not. It’s boring. We are lacking authenticity and originality.
I of course believe it is important to promote a healthy lifestyle and to exercise and eat well… but what I think is so unhealthy for our mentality is trying to be like somebody else, somebody we are not. We all have our own frame/shape which we should love and nourish with the ingredients it needs to grow strong and healthy – but no we shouldn’t feel bad when we eat a pizza or add that extra cheese. I know, I sound like a massive contradiction…. Do we be healthy and choose the veg or scoff the pizza??? Balance is what you need. Choosing to love yourself as you are is what you need.
Body image is something we all have in mind when working out, but I believe the medias floods of PT’s and body influencers have made us over think exercise hard. We want massive results and often beat ourselves up when we don’t reach them quickly – but all of this stuff over a body? A body which we are fuelling to carry ourselves through our day to day, to be strong, stand tall and to feel good. Why worry if your bums not popping enough to fit in that dress for the club or there’s no abbs to show off in your bikini. In the long run what’s going to matter is your overall health and wellbeing not your popping figure… although good on you if it’s still popping lol.
Now look, if striving towards a particular body type is what is going to make you happy then go for it. I understand sometimes appearance can get us down and makes us wish we looked like this or that, but I think that is down to our mentality and if we’re not liking something about ourselves we should make a change for OURSELVES and not for the fact of looking like this next model we scroll past every day. Me personally, I will eat an apple and look in the mirror and think I look skinnier. The same as when I eat some chips I will look in the mirror and think I am fatter- stupid I know. But why beat yourself up over eating a pizza or starve yourself so there’s no bloat? Now I just try to enjoy the flipping food in front of me, I no longer apologise to myself for EATING do you know how crazy that sounds when you actually think about it?!
I feel I’ve gabbled on so much here but for anybody still reading, my main points I would like you to take from here is to not give your body image and appearance too much thought! Have a balanced diet keep fit and healthy however don’t stress over not looking like the models we see… Focus more on killing your goals and having fun! We are all the best versions of ourselves in this very moment and it will be hard to move forward positively if we are feeling negative about ourselves. Looking a certain way isn’t everything --- there is SO much more to life to give your thoughts and actions to. We are all different and weren’t meant to be the same.
All things are easier said than done but I really think there is a need for people especially younger ladies to develop healthy relationships with exercise and food for the right reasons.
We are more than our appearance fuk your standards.