Social Media Is a Minefield For Those Struggling With Body Image, but I Won't Let It Shake Me
I don’t get out of bed every morning feeling particularly positive or confident with the way my body looks. Rather, it’s something I have to work toward every day. And when I do have blips of body acceptance, there’s no guarantee that I’ll feel the same way tomorrow, or even in a few hours. Body confidence is tricky like that. One moment it’s here, in another it’s gone. I could be scrutinizing over every inch – scratch that, centimeter – of my body, yet the next day be checking myself out in the mirror, flabbergasted that I ever thought my body wasn’t beautiful or sexy enough. The thing about body confidence is, just because you have it, it doesn’t mean all the negative thoughts vanish into thin air.
Social media is a breeding ground for insecurities, and if you’re working on building your body confidence, this is the easiest place to wreck it. Wish your butt filled out your shorts more or you had tinier boobs to pull off a stringy swimsuit? Here’s thousands of people at your disposal that don’t look like you and can do those things. The amount of jealousy and envy that social media can amount on someone is monstrous. I’ve caught myself too many times thinking, “Wow, I would look so cute in that if only I weighed less or didn’t wear a size in the double digits.”
We’re constantly editing or tuning our bodies to fit this mold of what society is telling us the “perfect” woman should look like, and I’m guilty of it as well. Photos go through rounds of editing before even making it on Instagram, and I’m left wondering how we as a society got to to this point. It’s uncommon to have in-person interactions with a majority of our followers on social media, and the ones we do already know what our bodies look like! So, why are we wasting time worrying about what other people think of our bodies?
As I’m growing and learning to love my body, I’ve continued to tweak the type of content I’m consuming on my social media accounts. I’m breaking up with immediately feeling self-conscious or insecure about my size as soon as I open Instagram. If I’m putting in the work to appreciate my full figure and curves, I should be aligning myself with social media accounts that do the same. By following people who don’t look like me, I’m only doing myself a disservice.
I make a mindful effort now to only follow and support brands and retailers who elicit body positivity and inclusivity. Believe it or not, I want to be tempted over and over again to spend my paycheck on swimsuits or formfitting jeans, and it’s hard to be influenced or excited about a product that only exemplifies one body type. Curvy influencers have become my most trusted resource when it comes to shopping, because if they look like me and it fits their body, it’ll fit mine. Seeing a real person using their platform to advocate for curvy products goes a lot further than a sponsored advertisement promoting all sizes with a model that looks nothing like me.
Body positivity and body confidence is something I have to work at daily, but reevaluating who and what I give my attention to on social media has made all the difference.