Body positivity. Finally it’s a thing. Who knew that in order for us to start loving our bodies, the pendulum would have to swing so far into the wilderness of hate to get us even thinking about the idea of loving ourselves. Since the dawn of Photoshop, magazines have altered the way models and actresses have looked to better achieve beauty ideals – ideals that clearly do not exist. And since the dawn of Instagram and the incredible body, skin (and arguably mind) altering apps that came with it, it has brought those powers to the masses.
Part of my job is to take pictures – to photograph and to be photographed. I’ve never loved being photographed, but I understand that it’s part of the process of creating the content in the style I’ve curated over the years. As of late, particularly over the holidays, I wanted nothing to do with being in front of the camera. I didn’t feel beautiful and the insecurities I could usually push aside were raging inside of me. I felt a strange paralytic sense. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I read Stacey Gorlicky’s book Food Sex & You and then interviewed her for Facebook Live did I realize all that I was suppressing inside of me.
Every day I’m on Instagram–posting, scrolling, searching for inspiration, and every day I’m bombarded with images of incredible beauty; natural, purchased, manipulated, filtered beauty. And every day, without me paying much attention, I am stacking myself up against those images; wondering why am I not that or I’m not this, slowly killing my confidence with every slide of my index finger.
That sucks and it shouldn’t be the case.
I appreciate beauty and the beauty in others but what I’ve found is that these social apps can’t help but foster feelings of comparison, if even just by the sheer volume of imagery and/or the amount of time we spend watching.
Emerson famously said: “Comparison is the thief of joy”, and it wasn’t until I spoke to people like Stacey and everyone who has come on our Facebook Live, who I’ve had real conversations with, in real life, about real things that are affecting us, did I start putting things into perspective. It was Stacey who talked to me about self love; Meghan who talked to me about self care; Sasha who spoke to comparison; P who spoke to the lies of social media and Jessica who talked about discovering what I want, and the list goes on… These insightful conversations led me to freshen up my follows and add in a new roster of people that speak to embracing the REAL. Lauren moved me with this post and Jenna with this and Roxy, well, she forever inspires me with her unapologetic love of her curves.
I often get sent things–a cool perk of the job, but when Dove sent this set of bottles, depicting all of the different body types that women have, I was moved. You see, the idea of self love and body positivity comes from within, for sure, but if we as a society champion the beauty of all women, of all sizes, half of the job will be done. With the help of an environment that celebrates more than one unachievable beauty ideal, little girls (and women too) will strip away one more pressure to fit into a box that was never meant for them.
So thank you Dove for being a champion for real beauty. And thank you to all of my Social friends that I’ve stumbled upon in this newish world of Social Media and who are now a daily source of inspiration and motivation. Instagram and all of these social apps were created for their community, meaning WE have the power to make real change. If you support body positivity and #RealBeauty, share some. You will be surprised how many people are dying to see it. I know I would, so tag me!