Back in the olden days of the 00s and earlier, before social media ran in our veins, airbrushing and photoshopping was limited to the A-listers on the covers of Vogue. Only, they had the privileges of doll-like skin and moulding photos so their body proportions fit whichever body shape was in that season.
It was still bad back then. I grew up wondering why my legs had “little dots” (or, hair follicles) but no one in the magazines did. It was only after seeing other legs in real life that I realised my legs looked how legs are supposed to look. Even the girls in the magazines don’t have legs like that.
Now, social media has changed everything. We are surrounded by Instagram models with impossibly “perfect” body proportions. We compare ourselves to our feeds and see people posing to hide belly rolls and blemishes, then compare it to our real body. But fear not – Facetune is available so we can, just like the models in Vogue, edit our bodies to look like the influencers around us. If editing our photos isn’t enough – the demand for plastic surgery has gone up just in time for it to be even more affordable to the general public.
“You’re comparing yourself to
something that doesn’t exist”
We feel like we must have a “perfect” body but no matter how much we try, our bodies – whose function is to keep us alive, not to be beautiful – will never measure up to a curated ideal. It’s an endless cat and mouse game and you always end up feeling deflated. Our advice is to begin loving your insecurities, and we came up with five tips on how to do just that.
1) Switch the filter off!
Have you ever been taking cute selfies on Snapchat, only to move the camera slightly? Suddenly the filter disappears and gone are your big, glossy eyes, radiant smooth skin and suspicious bunny nose. In its place, you are confronted with your face as it is. Surely I can’t be the only one who utters a surprised “Oh Jesus, THAT’S me?”
You’re comparing yourself to something that doesn’t exist and has been created to present an artificial perfection. Bodies naturally have spots, wrinkles, freckles and blemishes. Your body is doing what it is supposed to be doing and you shouldn’t feel bad about that. Instead of filtering out your natural beauty, opt for a good routine of lots of sleep, drinking lots of water and keeping your skin supple and refreshed in a way that suits your lifestyle. When you take photos, find pretty lighting and good backdrops that add a professional touch. You don’t need to make your booty bigger or your waist smaller with an app – it enforces the idea you’re not enough! Celebrate the beauty of your body as it is!
2) Follow genuinely body positive bloggers
Instead of following aspirational bloggers with body types that make you feel bad about yours, follow people who celebrate diversity. There are plenty of bloggers who prove you can and should be confident with your body no matter what type of body you have.
There are bloggers with physical disabilities celebrating their beauty, plus size models proving that everyone has a bikini body, and bloggers simply honestly posting their pictures without hiding parts of themselves that don’t conform to conventional beauty like scars, stretchmarks and spots.
Surround yourself with images of what a variety of bodies look like, and you’ll quickly see that the things that make you insecure are natural, lots of people have them, and instead of hiding them away we should feel positively about them too!
“our bodies’ function is to keep us
alive, not to be beautiful”
3) Focus less on the physical, and more on who you are inside
We don’t owe the world beauty. Sure, it feels good to look nice, but we have so much more value. Rather than focusing on what your body looks like, think about the internal.
What are you good at? What do other people like about you? What skills would you like to learn? If you are an active person, take up a sport because you like it and want to get better, not to stay slim.
Become kinder, fairer, less judgemental and less negative. Enjoy the world around you! After all, inner beauty lasts forever!
“It’s okay to be a work in progress”
4) Compliment people around you
The world is super competitive, especially when it comes to beauty. It can be easy to feel like someone else’s beauty, or talent, means you are less beautiful or talented.
By complimenting and celebrating other people, you stop feeling like you are in competition with them and more like someone cheering them on. You realise you can see other people’s positive points, and it doesn’t take from yours.
What’s more, you can use what you like about others and apply it to your own life. If you like someone else’s style, why not see how you can incorporate parts of that into your own style? It’s okay to be a work in progress, and use others as inspiration to become who you want to be.
5) Be Your Own Best Friend
What do you think about when you think of your best friend? You immediately think of how funny they are, how beautiful they are, and all the good memories you have together.
Yet when we think of ourselves, we’re inclined to think of all the areas of improvement. When people pay us compliments, we find a way to downplay what they’ve said. It’s more like we’re our own worst enemy. Yet, if we cut out negative and toxic people, why do we so readily allow ourselves to be toxic to ourselves? How can we love ourselves if we only surround ourselves with negativity?
Listen to the compliments of others. Challenge yourself when you bully yourself. Surround yourself with the same joy with which you’d want to surround your loved ones. Work on the elements of yourself that you want to work on, and praise yourself for things you do well. You deserve it!