The need to be perfect consumes us everyday, we see it on social media, TV, magazines or even at school. Having a small waist, small thighs or big boobs are just a few insignificant things on a much larger scale that we think we need to have to be perfect.
Why do we live in a world where women in particular feel as if they are obliged to be a certain shape, size or even number on a scale. To me, accepting the way you look and being happy with the way you look is one of the most refreshing and positive feelings in the world that unfortunately only so few people will ever truly get to experience. ‘Why?’ you may be asking – well, partly because we live in a society that is severely social media based. As soon as we check our phones in the morning, we are faced with these unrealistic beauty expectations. The fact that we are absorbing this first thing, puts us in a negative headspace for the rest of the day, making us constantly question ourselves about the way we look. I recently learned the fact that only 5% of women in the world naturally possess the body type often portrayed in the media. That leaves 95% of the whole world’s population trying to be in that 5%.
These days most 12 year olds have a phone, which means that they would most likely be on social media platforms like Instagram. These young girls are being brought up with the expectation that there is basically only one body type in the world and if they don’t fit into that category then they won’t succeed or ever be good enough for anyone. I have a younger sister who is 12 years old, and isn’t even on Instagram yet and this is a direct quote from her: “Do my ears stand out when I wear this dress, they are so big I hate them so much”. I was absolutely gobsmacked, I don’t know what you were doing when you were 12 years old, but I bet it most definitely wasn’t feeling insecure about the size of your ears. To me, this one quote is the tip of the iceberg, what’s looming underneath is far worse.
I am tired of seeing photoshop on women, in magazines and on social media. It makes me so sad, the fact that these beautiful girls and women are being photoshopped, to look like completely different versions of themselves. These major companies only want one particular body type, which leads the rest of us to constantly worry and start to hate our own bodies because we do not fit into these, ‘so called’ ideal figures.
I was reading another Rosie blog when I stumbled across this fact; ‘the average woman sees over 600 images photoshopped per day’. This is a staggering number which most definitely indicates a problem. The fact that whenever I go onto Instagram, I don’t know what is real or what has been edited makes me seriously question humanity. So next time you are on social media and look at a certain picture and think, ‘she’s so skinny or her skin looks so clear’ remember that this particular image that you are looking at, is most likely photoshopped. What you see, hear or even read is not always real, so it is important to keep that in mind at all times.
We need change now before it is too late, one woman will turn into an army of women, we all know how powerful women can be especially if we stick together. We all need to stop the photoshop, be happy in our own beautifully exquisite skin. But this is another issue we will tackle soon, as feeling beautiful in one’s skin is truly hard to achieve. If the photoshop stops it will lead girls, even young girls like my sister, to see these beautiful imperfections that we feel the need to cover up. We need to make it more common to see natural things like cellulite and stretch marks. So many of us are ashamed by these perfectly natural things that we have absolutely no control over. It is crazy to me that so many beautiful women are ashamed of these little marks that seem to define us, define what we wear, define our confidence and define our ability to smile when we look in the mirror. These little marks are so insignificant to our lives but yet we consume ourselves, our time, even our money over these little things that are simply natural.
Loving yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin is definitely not easy. I for one know how mentally challenging it can be to feel confident and happy in the way you look. So I am going to try my best to help everyone achieve this.
Step 1: To love yourself is to accept yourself and accept the way you look.
Step 2: Understand that you are human, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
Step 3: Don’t think of flaws as flaws, think of them as beauty marks or think of yourself as simply just being unique. How boring would this world be if every single person looked the same?
Step 4: Try not to compare yourself to others. No one in the world is the same as you, therefore to compare yourself to someone else, is simply unfair to you.
Step 5: If you are finding that Instagram or Facebook is getting you down, simply switch off your phone for a while and go and do something that makes you happy.
Step 6: Focus on mental wellbeing rather than the number on the scale. Seriously, standing on a scale to then look down at a number that is so insignificant is not worth putting your mind and body through.
Step 7: Try to replace every single negative thought with a positive thought, this is going to be a challenging one, but I truly believe this is the most important and final step to loving yourself. Go on, try it out right now as you are reading this, go to your closest mirror, or even pull your phone out and turn the camera on. Look into your mirror or camera and say one, just one, positive thing about yourself. If you try this and you succeed, be proud of yourself, be proud that you have just achieved something, that seems so easy to do but in fact is completely challenging and frightening. If you find that this task was too challenging, do not and I repeat do not worry or fuss about it. Simply work up the courage to one day achieve this task, whether that is the following day or 5 years down the track.
2019 is the year for change, we as a society can watch things happen or we can make things happen. So the next time you look in the mirror or online and say something or even think something negative about yourself, remember solely that you are beautiful, you were given this one body so be proud of it, wear what you want, be who you want to be and most importantly stand up for what you truly believe is right.
Chelsea is a 15 year old girl who loves writing about what she loves and believes in. She also loves music and cooking (mostly the eating part though).
To learn more about dealing with these issues, check out these other articles:
What is Body Image?
What is Self Esteem
How to Build Self Confidence