Social media is a large platform for self-criticism. We are a generation who spends a lot of time online, and during that time we may find ourselves looking over other people's photos. Suddenly, we may start comparing ourselves to other body types, and we find ourselves wondering if there is something wrong with us because we may not look the way we think we should. It didn't used to be this way, but with the advances in technology we are able to snap pics, slap on a filter, and make adjustments via apps that will trim inches off our waists and thighs without so much as a second thought. this in itself isn't a bad thing, but when thirteen-year-old girls are editing their Instagram photos, what are they believing about their bodies? That they have flaws to be edited away?
How damaging is that? To be told that "skinny" and "thigh gaps" are fashionable. Society has perfect what the ideal woman/man should look like. When in reality, there is only a tiny percent of people who actually meet the standards which the media determines as "beautiful". furthermore, most models depicted in images or commercials are approximately 20% below the ideal body weight; this meets the diagnostic criteria for anorexia! [here is the source] Yet this is ultimately applying and undue pressure, and us young people tend to hate our bodies if we don't fit the mold. As a result, we punish ourselves for not looking right. We are hurting for not being everyone else's definition of "beauty".
How many times have you gone into a dressing room and tried something on only to look in the mirror and think: "this isn't how it looked on the mannequin"? Or when those perfect jeans don't fit and that little voice inside your head starts saying you need to lose weight so you think: "Maybe I should skip dinner"? We need to stop allowing society to set the standard for what beauty should be. It should not matter how thin you are, how big your thigh gap is, what brand of makeup you use or clothing you wear.
Not everyone is built the same, or looks the same; we are not all cut from the same fabric. Wider hips? that is okay. Thicker thighs? That is okay, too. What you consider to be your flaw just might be someone else's envy! Don't let the media pressure you into thinking there is only one ideal body type because everyone is different. If you are experiencing these struggles, if this article has struck a chord with you, then I encourage you to get up, go into the bathroom and look at yourself in the mirror. Say: “I am beautiful the way I am, no matter what anyone else says.” Tell this to yourself 40, 50, 100 times a day; however many times it takes until you begin believing it. Because it is true!