coping with body image expectations.
Beauty. It’s in the eye of the beholder. What one person finds to be beautiful another might not. A simple yet efficient equation.
Traditionally, this ideology was enough to keep people satisfied, men and women saw less images of other people, there was no social media to shape our perception of beauty standards. Today however, things have changed. Every day we compare ourselves, we spend hours scrolling through our phones looking at pictures of those we desire. We stare and compare ourselves, our bodies, our lives. Those little voices in our heads whispering, ‘I wish I had her hair’, ‘I wonder how he got so fit’ or ‘why can’t I be as pretty as her.’ We begin to compare so much that when we look at ourselves, we’re disappointed that we don’t reflect what we consider desirable. Wondering why we can’t be someone else. Questioning why we don’t look a certain way or fit into a certain stereotype.
This constant comparison is not healthy. Constantly watching the lives of others can become a toxic exercise. So toxic that we have begun to tear each other down, commenting negatively on peoples looks in order to bring ourselves back up. The green-eyed monster doth mock the meat it feeds on, as Shakespeare once said. There is something cynical about social media, something twisted, it wants people to analyse everything about one another, we get dragged so deeply into it that we cannot detach ourselves, so we become trapped. Seeing images of perfection repeatedly, beating ourselves up for not conforming to those magazine style bodies, those perfectly pristine pretty faces.
Everyone has an idea of their ideal image but if we all looked that way then beauty wouldn’t exist in the same way. Embrace your uniqueness, many people in the world will appreciate your beauty as soon as you are able to recognise it within yourself.
If you are a person who struggles with body image, here are a few tips I have devised which will hopefully help you recognise your worth:
Whenever you are having a down day look in the mirror and compliment yourself 5 times, it may feel silly, but it works wonders.
Remind yourself that everyone on social media compares themselves and that they will most likely look at pictures of you and wish they had your body shape, or your unique features.
Take time off social media. Try to actively reduce your screen time by setting yourself a daily target to only spend an hour of your day looking at the apps that usually make you feel bad about yourself.
Get involved in a hobby that makes you feel good about yourself whether its training your mind by reading or working on your wellbeing through sport.
Talk to your friends or family if you are feeling down, they will no doubt remind you how beautiful you are. Sometimes all you need is a bit of hyping up!
Spend some time pampering yourself, whether it’s doing your makeup or getting a fresh haircut. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel confident!
Lastly, remind yourself of all that you have achieved in that wonderful body of yours.