In a world of social media influencers, Victoria’s Secret models, YouTube stars, and the Kardashians; it’s easy to see where we as a society have fallen short with body positivity.
It’s no secret that we and the next generation of young women spend a lot of our time on social media.
For hours worth of scrolling each day, we are fed this idea that the perfect body exists but no one has it. Constantly there are articles detailing photoshopped pictures of Instagram models and celebrities alike.
Why are these influencers and celebrities taking the time to create an untruthful image of their bodies? Because the social media world has told them they have to if they want to be seen.
We know the message well because it’s the one screaming at us from a million different directions. And it’s the same message other young women, teenagers and adolescent girls are also encountering.
So, how can we create a body-positive world for our future daughters?
1. We can love ourselves out loud, and resist the urge to be hyper-critical of our own flaws in photographs.
There are right and wrong ways to go about expressing our feelings about our bodies. Instead of being quick to criticize, we can take a step back and live in the moment.
Photographs were not intended to emulate perfect, silicone sculptures worthy of museum placement—behind the glass where they cannot be touched or experienced.
Photos are opportunities to capture a moment in time and save it forever. Hold it in your heart and cherish it. Believe in it. Revel in it.
What if you took a look back on your life and realized you had no pictures with the ones you loved because you hated the way you looked? How do you think this will affect those around you?
The female body comes in all shapes and sizes, and we need to start showing OUR love to these shapes and sizes as we view ourselves throughout time.
These are the bodies that take on us on adventures. These are the bodies that give us children, strong enough to take care of our families. These are the bodies that were built with beauty in mind. But most importantly, these bodies are realistic.
They’re magnificently and exquisitely human, and they deserve our LOUD love when they’re captured in time.
2. We can promote REAL images on social media.
This means we need to STOP writing (and reading!) articles in the media that only focus on clearly edited and photoshopped images. It’s time to stop idolizing and sharing deceitful depictions of life and health. Social media should elevate body positivity and uniqueness, and it all begins with us.
So be real. Be silly. Be loud. Be playful. Be messy. Be wild. Be you.
Embrace imperfection in the way you present yourself to the world, so you can embody the spirit of true acceptance and appreciation.
3. We can intentionally spread body-positive messages around younger women and girls.
Other young women and girls look up to us. They see us, they hear us and they absorb the energy we direct towards our bodies as an example of how they should feel about themselves too.
When we speak negatively or make awful comments about our bodies, we are perpetrating a poisonous message. We are telling girls that’s normal. Encouraged, even.
When instead, what we could do is flip the table. Scream a different narrative from the mountain tops. We can point to our most treasured attributes. Celebrate ourselves, physically and intellectually for our inner and outer beauty. We can show everyone we encounter, especially young women, what it’s like to look in the mirror and feel a work of art, rather than a work in progress.
Let’s show the little girls of the world what beauty really looks like by being kind to ourselves and our bodies. Let’s mold the future into something full of warmth and celebration, something deeper than the surface. Something better.
Self-acceptance is courageous, and self-love is contagious.
And we are forces to be reckoned with when we stand confident in our own skin.