Body confidence is a major component of self-esteem. It involves the way you consider your aesthetics and the physical aspects of ‘you’. It’s no surprise with the constant lifestyle and beauty expectations that the majority of young women would change something about their body or appearance if they had the opportunity- myself included. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, but I can’t help but wonder the affects it has on people younger than myself- due to the drastic affect it has had on me. I’d consider myself relatively independent and educated regarding these issues- but what happens when people are more vulnerable?
It’s no doubt that have spent hundreds over the years on various lotions and potions that are advertised to work miracles- very few of which actually work. How can I get rid of stretch marks? How can I lose weight quickly? How can I make my lips bigger, eyelashes thicker and hair longer? Over and over, rapidly searching google and deciding to try the latest trend no matter what the cost. And why? Because I have been on social media since I was 12 years old and the expectations of young women has continued to increase year after year. We compare ourselves to the visions of unrealistic perfection on Instagram, on TV and in magazines- all of which have been edited continuously until they get the ‘thumbs up’ from the remaining narrow-minded publishers. I am guilty of trying to choose the perfect filter and taking multiple ‘selfies’ until I get the most flattering angle or lighting- I even know people who have bought a selfie phone case to help with those trivial issues- but I’d like to think that that is all behind me. Of course, I won’t upload a photograph I don’t like but I don’t waste my time trying to make it ‘perfect’. I am real. We are real. We are only human and perfection doesn’t exist.
It is getting better- with celebrity icons like Meghan Trainor refusing her music video ‘Me Too’ to be edited and Ashley Graham becoming one of the world’s most well-known models and ambassadors of self-love. I try to fill my life with positive people and that goes for social media too. It can be an inspirational platform to acceptance if used wisely. Reality check- anything against a white wall can look clean-cut and admirable.
I’ve found that people always have something negative to say. Why can’t we just accept everyone for their natural beauty? Tall, short, curvy, thin- what does it matter? The bottom line is; it doesn’t. Life would be boring if we were all the same. Life would also be boring if we all liked the same thing. It’s OK to look and be different- and i know it’s easier said than done. One thing I’ve learned is that if you compliment others (and mean it) rather than critiquing things- you are more likely to be kind to yourself. Change your perspective. Positive mind, positive attitude, positive life. The image i have used for this post took a lot of courage to upload. I don’t have a six pack and i don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model- but YES i was proud of my new tattoo when i took this photograph and YES i wanted to share it. It actually took hours to decide whether to upload this picture. I asked multiple people- is the photo OK? I can remember asking my Mam ”it’s not too ‘booby’ is it?” due to the fear of being shamed on the internet. I came to the conclusion. If they don’t like it, they shouldn’t look at it.
When I feel down about myself it makes me feel better to put my make-up on, wipe the dust from my straighteners and wear my favourite clothes- usually black tights and a nice casual dress with lots of jewellery. This might be the same for you, or you may embrace being Au Naturel and feel most confident when you rock your natural healthy glow. Look good, feel good. I used to constantly buy short bodycon dresses for nights out with my friends. That’s what everyone else wore and they looked confident so that’s what I had to do- right? Wrong! I am much happier (and much more confident) in pencil skirts, shirts, high-waisted skinny jeans or tights. Stick to clothes that make you feel good about yourself… or take more time to wear none at all. The Journal of Happiness Studies discovered that those who ‘practised’ being naked in public were, in general, happier with their bodies. It also states that being nude in public 20 times per year is the optimal number for those seeking pride over their body-image. This isn’t such a bad idea. Sometimes looking in the mirror at your naked body allows you to find things you do like rather than what you don’t and notice the changes you’ve been trying to make. Lets stick to the bedroom with this one though (we don’t want anyone getting arrested).
Now, before my ramble of a blog post comes to an end I want you all to smile. Just smile. Right now at your phone or laptop screen. You instantly feel happier don’t you? Now laugh. Even happier? Use this next time you feel down about yourself or don’t feel confident. Smile and your half way there. For the other 50% believe in yourself and maybe give this post another read.
Kayleigh Rose xx