2It’s no breaking news that we live in a modern world, where money, status, and most importantly – looks, are seen as absolutely crucial. Basically, if you don’t match nowadays’ beauty standards, you don’t exist – at least that’s what media wants you to think.
Now I can finally see why this mindset that is forced upon us is so toxic
As someone who’s struggled with body image for years and somehow, managed to overcome most of her insecurities, I thought that in this article, I’d share a bit about my experience, my views about beauty standards, and maybe even some tips for those of you who are going through the same situation.
Being part of Gen Z wasn’t always so great
Besides the facile access to information, entertainment & opportunities, social media has had its negative effects on my self-image and mental health – and it still has. Seeing all these airbrushed celebrities carelessly posing in their bikinis, looking absolutely flawless, made me see myself in a different light.
Whenever I looked into a mirror, I couldn’t help but portray myself as not pretty enough, not skinny enough – and the list goes on and on. I was disgusted with myself and it didn’t take long before I decided to do something about it; I went for the easy way, but also the unhealthy one. I still remember how badly I starved myself the summer before my first year of high-school. I thought that if I lost weight, people would like me more and I would fit easier in my new class.
But I didn’t, because that wasn’t the answer
I did lose a considerable amount of weight in only a few weeks but it didn’t make me feel better about myself. You see, the problem with eating disorders is that, once you go down this wicked path, there’s almost no turning back. No matter how much professional help you get, you’ll always have this slight tendency to count calories or compare yourself to people you see on social media, thinking that you’re not enough because you’ll never look like that.
But it’s okay because you don’t have to look like that
So as I’ve said in the beginning, this modern world we’re trapped in goes out of its ways, day and night, to make you believe in those ridiculous beauty standards. And if you don’t trust me, open the first beauty magazine you can find and you’ll see articles about losing weight shortly and anti-aging products – because the media doesn’t want you to accept yourself as you are, it only cares about selling you useless & expensive products, while making you feel like crap.
What about diversity & real body positivity?
For years and years, I thought there’s a right way to do anything – and most importantly, a right way to look like. But as I grew older, I realized how beautiful diversity is, how fascinating is the fact that we’re all so different from one another. Moreover, it’s something we should celebrate, and not hate on. Because our differences – as cliché as that may sound – are making us the unique humans we are.
The real body positivity I’m talking about is far from what you see on Instagram. No, those girls wearing size M are not “plus-size” models & having one zit on your cheek does not make your skin acneic. What media needs to understand is that stretch-marks, cellulitis, and other “flaws” are, in fact, perfectly normal and not at all imperfect.
So what’s my point? F*** the beauty standards!
No, honey, you don’t need to risk your physical & mental healthy only to impress an inexisted crowd. The only thing that matters is your perception of yourself and your very own happiness. Stop thinking people are looking at you and judging your every single so-called flaw – most people have better things to do and besides, even if they were judging you, does it really matter?
They haven’t lived a day in your life, they have no idea how far you’ve come and how much you’ve struggled to accept yourself, so why should their opinion matter? At the end of the day, you’re alone with yourself & especially with your thoughts, so don’t let them be negative ones. Look in the mirror, caress every inch of your skin and speak kindly to yourself because you deserve it!
Oh, and now that summer is here…
Don’t be afraid to show that gorgeous body of yours! Put on that bikini or that pair of shorts that you were too ashamed to wear! Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with a few extra pounds, they don’t make you less worthy of admiration and respect. There are so many things to love about yourself and most of them come from within, so be easy on yourself and don’t push your body and your mind towards unrealistic standards. You are enough, remember that.