The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and discovered this picture that was posted by Louisa Johnson, the winner of the X Factor, of a newspaper article in The Sun.
The post that Louisa added was not what upset me, but what The Sun had thought was acceptable to publish in their newspaper. This was an example of disgusting body shaming.
These pictures are not fair to compare one against the other, one is well timed and the other is not. That does not therefore mean they can shame a woman just because the newspaper chose a bad photo over a number of good ones they will have had of both individuals.
Body confidence in today’s society is extremely hard to get and even harder to cling onto. Pictures like this, of both men and women, flood our social media feeds and media publications daily. This feeds into our insecurities and makes us feel ashamed for our own body image.
Seeing pictures in fashion magazines also don’t help with these insecurities. They make you feel like you should style, walk, talk and act in specific ways just to be ‘on trend’. I never found this fair, especially when those girls are photo-shopped to within an inch of their life, have personal trainers and have people feeding them whilst they jet set.
People have said to me that they are shocked and horrified that mental health disorders are on the rise. I always reply to these people that I am neither shocked nor horrified. Within seconds I could have Twitter open on a newspapers feed and be able to show at least three examples within a minute of body shaming occurring for both men and women. This ranges from fashion choices, hair styles, weight, age, height, food choices, fitness levels… it is actually pretty exhausting to read articles time and time again that say the same thing.
We should be trying harder, we should be eating more healthily, we should weigh a certain amount, you should dress like this, you should wear make-up like this, go to the gym this often, watch this film, avoid this music…
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am sick and tired of feeling like I am not good enough. That I should live up to some unrealistic expectations that I can never meet, although I can make myself pretty ill from trying to. Why do we listen to these social perceptions all of the time? Because we can’t help but listen. These expectations are everywhere. Everywhere you turn, every magazine, newspaper, TV Show and music video feeds us with these ideas that we should look, dress and act in specific ways.
Well, I have something to say about that.
We don’t have to act, dress or be anything like those expectations. You don’t need to eat one piece of spinach a day, hammer the gym and wear clothes that are deemed ‘on trend’.
Eat what you want to eat. Wear what you want to wear. Act how you want to act. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, or damaging yourself, then do things to make you happy. If you aren’t truly happy then you aren’t truly living.
Stop listening to magazines telling you that age, hair colour, make-up, clothes, gender and your size affect who you are as a person. They don’t.
Stop thinking that you have to chase unrealistic goals to be just like that person in a fitness magazine or that model you follow on Instagram. You don’t.
You being you is the most beautiful thing that you can ever do. Embrace that, be happy and ignore societal pressures to mould yourself to be a clone of someone else.
Be you. Let’s break the constant noise from society and give them a big middle finger!
I want to be me, not Kendall Jenner. Let’s spread love and positivity rather than slamming each other and tearing the next person down. The world needs more positive influences, and if I help one person to see that they are just as beautiful as the next without being Gigi Hadid, then I will be one very content person.
Be happy being you and lets start boosting our body confidence by stopping comparisons between us and others, it isn’t fair on us and definitely will not help your mental health!
Do your thing, be happy, laugh, live and love. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should be doing something else!