Hey guys! In the digital age, it is so difficult to be completely happy in our own body. There will always be someone fitter, better looking, a better lifestyle and more social. We can make huge wishlists of things we don’t like about ourselves but is that actually doing anyone any justice? Here are some reasons why “Confidence In My Body” Is So Difficult To Attain & How To Fix It.
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Perception is Reality
Such a cliche but it is true. How many models do you follow on Instagram? Who do you see presenting clothing on TV ads, magazines and billboards. All those skinny people who have been battered and bruised into shape. In all honesty, if most people could stay thin without going to the gym – I wonder they will choose. Fitness, is great in many aspect – but to become at a level comparable with those we see on media is intense. There are so many reasons why a lifestyle like this is so unhealthy, yet they are people we are taught to “admire”. How can confidence in our bodies ever happen this way?
We have all done it right? Even a filter is altering the original image. For every spot we have cleared, imperfection we have blurred and lumps and bumps we have hidden, the more we feed the problem. When I talk about filters, I am not talking about brightness and sharpness, because that is simply the inner photographer within us. The problem is when we start to change what we actually look like.
The amount of bloggers I know who blur out spots “because it is a temporary part of us” is a point of concern. Maybe the cause of the problem runs deep, but I believe that my role is to show things just the way they are as an influencer. If I have a spot (which is a human process may I add), it should be embraced. Covering up these flaws just make it way more of a taboo when we discuss it. The reason I never had “confidence in my body” is that I rarely saw people who look like me. I’m 5ft 3, brown and have had acne and hyperpigmentation for as long as I can remember. Is that portrayed within the media? Certainly not.
Just as noticeable as editing and removing bits is angling. This is the tactical way of finding angles that flatter you best. I understand why this happens and how it is a natural part of us but it can take over. Instead, moments that should be cherished are instead becoming photo ops where it all about “the right angle”. Many double chins are hidden, bloats are taped up and “we can always add a thigh gap”. This unrealistic perception of reality fills our screens and becomes all we see. Maybe that needs to change.
Let’s discuss bloating for a bit. For all women, PMS can impact us all differently, but many of us have the inevitable bloat. It is unflattering and in all honesty, was the most impactful reason I did not have confidence in my body. It can be so difficult to hide, and with hormones in the mix, it can seem that bloating is the devil. I can assure you it is not and it is a way of life. Maybe we need to be less harsh on others who have a slightly inflated belly and make it normalised. I have started to post “expectation vs reality” posts on Instagram, with well-angled photos alongside my current state. If you are looking to become more confident in your body, accept your bloating as a point of female pride.
I struggled with confidence in my body because I always saw people that were thinner and enjoying life more. Except, behind a photo, you never truly know the state of play right? They could be diet central, in the gym 6 days a week and forever strict on what they do with their body. Maybe they worked very hard to be that thin. You just never know. They could even have difficulty putting weight on! I never thought that would be the case, but just a scratch beneath the surface and you can see all sort of problems.
The message: comparison is superficial. You will always feel worse compared to an “idyllic” view of reality, which is not accurate whatsoever. To begin feeling body confident, don’t rely word for word on what you see online. Realistically, this is a snapshot (or more likely tainted version) of the truth and much more could be going on behind the scenes.
I am not going to go into this too much because I could write a novel on diet culture, but we all know how unhealthy it can be. A body is like a plant – it needs the basics. For a plant, water, sunlight and nurturing are what it needs. Humans need food, water and a whole lotta sleep. When it comes to food, a balance of fruit and veg, carbs, protein, dairy and sugars are expected. We learnt this in school as children. However, when we become older, it becomes a matter of “what is causing me to put the weight on?” “what can I cut out?”. We all know how bad it is, but how many people have tried a diet. A lot I can tell you that.
Not only does it breed bad habits, but it is beyond unhealthy. Cutting and counting calories is a downward spiral, and it just becomes competitive. However, dramatically losing weight is a cry out from your body and is the STOP sign you should acknowledge. Having confidence in my body started at the point I realised that diet culture was simply another marketing tactic for gyms, greens, supplements and the health and wellbeing sector. As soon as you are skipping meals with pills and protein powder, the red flags should appear.
Look, there is a reason why I advocate self-confidence and positive body images. In my first year of university, I was in full control of what I chose to eat, surrounded by like-minded people. That caused over a year of undereating. From 1700 calories, I gradually dropped to 700. Yep. 700 calories. The cause, calorie counting. The fact that these apps exist is horrible. Every day it becomes a competition of how little you can eat, and your body starts looking more toned. Yet in the space of a year:
- Nausea every time I ate
- Headaches every hour
- Weak Joints
- Pale Face
- All my clothes did not fit
- Complete Exhaustion
- Mood swings/irritability
- Eating Anxiety
- Stomach stopped rumbling – did not know when I was hungry
- Missed Periods
- Dislike for Food
Losing weight in a bad way can do so much harm to a person. In 11 weeks I went from 55kg (8.6st) to 40kg (6.2st), and the worse part – I wasn’t going to stop. Without my parents noticing the change and forcing me to eat I would have kept going. And for what? Better defined collarbones. Diet culture is harrowing, I’ll tell you that.
What can we do then?
We got to embrace “confidence in my body”. That is the only way of breaking the cycle.
Enjoy What We Enjoy
The amount of hold off because of the judgement of others. Why? You are never too big / too small to do anything, F*** off to social stigma. You wanna be a burlesque dancer? Do you love BDSM? (Check out subsanddoms and mybdsmhookups if you are by the way) Go for it, embrace it, and do not be put off by the thoughts of others.
Change Social Media Step By Step
I think it is awful that Instagram quantifies what is “good looking” by likes and comments. Good looking is relative, and I will not be endorsing any forms of diet culture of face tuning. Yes, they may be caused by insecurity, but then what is portrayed? A perception of someone who does not have complete confidence in their own body. Then you are left with a whole cycle of people not being true to themselves. If you can, even just for a minute, step away from social media and simply look at what is being portrayed. Look at the Explore pages and delve into what is shared. I am sure you will not find 100% realistic depictions of the average body but some edited bikini shot. Says it all eh?
Normalise Lumps & Bumps
Confidence in your own skin and self-love will come into its own if you reduce your standards of everyone else. We all have lumps, bumps and marks we would rather not have, and rather not share with the world. If we just accept ours, even for a minute – we are one step closer to becoming self-confident. It is a simple concept but difficult in practice.
Confidence In My Body: Here are some other simple things you can do:
- Make a note of all the bits you love about yourself- and start showing them off more! Be proud of your body
- Know what you don’t like. Why? It is because others don’t have it or your conscious of it? Note your flaws, but more importantly, why they are flaws
- Don’t have shame in the way you look, others find you gorgeous, start believing it and get to feeling confident!
- Wear what you want – sometimes self-love is the cure to body confidence
- Look at yourself in the mirror, really look – get to know yourself again
- Don’t hide the bits you don’t like, and push the comfort zone – to the point it becomes reality
- Do not use social media as a base point
- Beauty is superficial and relative – you can be stunning without having a body for modelling!
- A perception of anothers’ lifestyle is not reality, so do not give in to it
- Do things you enjoy!
Confidence In My Body should not be a difficult task, and self-love is a process you should love the whole way through? How do you feel about the perception of bodies on social media?