Okay, this will be a bit of a rant-y post. Maybe it’s the mood I am in (thank you hypomania for keeping me so honest).
I want to talk about the way we portray ourselves on social media. I mean, how often do you post a picture without editing it first (unless of course it is of your dog or a scenic shot).
Like the hashtag, #nofilterneeded? Come on. In real life are you walking around with a filter on?
So I don’t post a lot of pictures of myself anymore, but when I do, I don’t do much to tamper with them because I would rather look like me than look like a version of me who doesn’t have bags under her eyes, acne/acne scars, imperfect hair or whatever. I mean if you’ve met me before, you know what I look like.
Most of the time we post pictures when we look “good”. On New Year’s Eve, my husband said “let’s get dressed up for fun and then we can take a picture together- I want to show you off”. I know, I know, he’s sweet/corny at times when he isn’t being silly. I purposely did myself up for a social media post. Guilty as charged – but I did indicate in the caption there was a reason for the photo op.
What I don’t get is the people who claim to “hate their bodies” and be “self-conscious” yet they post these pictures that show off so much of their bodies? I mean, there are people who probably do it for the likes and the comments, the feedback if you will. If you hate your body or lack self-confidence, why are you showing it off? All the likes and comments are not going to solve your underlying issues. You have to like (love) you. Not the rest of the world. Isn’t there some saying about in order to be loved, you have to love yourself first?
Body image and self- esteem are things I too struggle with. I hide in clothes that are too big on me. I perceive myself as “bigger” than I am, but this has a lot to do with my battle with medication-related weight gain. It’s amazing how fast you can gain weight. And how much you can gain until one day you just realize your shirts are too short and your pants are too tight and you feel like sh*t. You compare yourself to your “skinny friends” or to anyone “smaller” than you and you are jealous. You wonder how people see you. You torment yourself…or at least I did. Definitely leads to hibernation and self-isolation.
I do think it is beautiful when people post pictures of themselves that are about body positivity and body confidence, because as the hashtag goes, #allbodiesarebeautiful and we have to get this idea out of our heads that there is a standard we should be measuring ourselves by. You should be the one who sets your confidence level, not your followers or your critics. I am speaking to women and to men. To humans.
We’re humans. We aren’t perfect specimens, so stop expecting that of yourselves and holding yourself to the highest standard. Your body is your body and the most important person who has to accept it is you, and once you do, you will feel much better. And the less time you spend analyzing it in the mirror, the better.
I speak from experience and years of fighting with myself. I stopped counting the new stretch marks and obsessing over having a “muffin top” when wearing jeans. I mean, who has the spoons for that these days?
“To thine own self be true” as the Shakespearean quote says.
Now step away from the mirror and give yourself a hug.
Mental health advocate. Blogger. Writer. Creative being. Sensitive soul.
(Also wife, law clerk, social media writer/marketer and book worm).