Instagram Helped To Solve My Body Image Issues

Instagram Helped To Solve My Body Image Issues

Accounts on Instagram not only make me feel better about myself, but they also make me feel normal.

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My weight has always been a sore spot for me. I've never been height-weight proportionate. I was teased in high school (and beyond) for my weight. I've been rejected from romantic partnerships due to my weight. It's a very shameful way to live sometimes.

My genetics are interesting. I come from a family with diverse size differences. The women on my mother's side of the family are all skinny. The women on my father's side of the family are all very large with large bust sizes. Those on my mother's side of the family battle with substance abuse, psychological problems, and chronic illnesses. On my father's side of the family, the battles are conditions due to their weight. Put those together, and here I am.

The body positive movement has recently touched me like never before. It's comforting to see that other women have had similar weight problems their whole lives. They decided to try and stop bullying about their bodies and claim some dignity.

When I first joined Instagram, I followed all the sexy bikini-clad Playboy Bunny hopefuls with accounts there. My feeds were filled with duck face selfies, pleas for followers, pictures with the girls' Snapchat and personal porn pages, and pictures showing off how popular and desired these women were. Not exactly great for my self-esteem. I could never look like these women — even if I posted a bunch of duck face selfies as well. They didn't represent me for me to want to be like them.

Alexandra Airene, who runs the LearningToBeFearless channel on YouTube said she had an Instagram account. As soon as I followed her there, I got suggested accounts to follow that was exactly what I'd been looking for. Bigger women posting pictures in two piece bathing suits (without shame) or in fashionable clothing that looked beautiful on them. These were clothes I could see myself wearing, and with them wearing the clothes first, I knew I'd look as good as them wearing it. The clothes were actually made for women like us. I immediately unfollowed any female who was not my body type and now only follow women that are my body type. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see women like myself posting pictures of how happy, free, and sometimes how in love they are as if its a completely normal way for them to be.

I've never seen bigger women presented as normal and happy. It gives me hope.

Fabulous, gabifresh, iamdaniadriana, xeharcurvy, fatgirlflow, chubbystruggles, melissa__herb, virgietovar, alternativecurves, and the account I found just today, whatfatgirlsreallywear. Accounts like gabifresh, iamdaniadriana, and melissa__herb are individuals that are changing the perception of how big girls are seen one upload at a time. Other accounts like xeharcurvy and fatgirlflow pop in my feed with pictures of big girls modeling in pretty clothes, showing off in two-piece bathing suits and kissing the hot guys in their lives. Seeing uploads like this instead of a bunch of women I'll never look like enjoying the rich and high society life is much more inspiring.

The biggest backlash with all of this is that people feel like this movement is glorifying obesity.

I work with kids. I make sure to tell them how pretty or handsome they look. I don't want them to grow up without one person who had something positive to say about their bodies and their clothes. That's how I grew up. I had no idea that my body type and that my clothes were okay just the way they were. That I didn't have to change or go out of my way to be accepted and loved. That's all the body positive movement is. Showing us that we're okay, but displaying others like us that are happy in their own skins.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Dear Girls, You Are So Much More Than Your Jean Size

Even when it feels like you're not.

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Trust me, I know how it feels. I know what it's like to constantly think about food. I know what it's like to be driven insane trying to follow a ridiculous diet. And I also know what it's like to feel beyond guilty that 80 percent of the time I do eat that piece of cake I promised myself I wouldn't. I know how it feels to stand in front of the full-length mirror in your bathroom and choke back tears because your thighs look way too big in the new shorts that you were so excited to wear. I've felt insecure, I've felt hopeless, and I sometimes have a hard time holding my body confidently when I walk into a room of strangers.

We've all felt it.

But there are times when some of us feel it so strongly we just want to burst. Times when we simply can't handle the thought of being inadequate, unattractive or not enough. These feelings can lead us to desperate measures, and we do things we never thought in our right minds we would do. Insecurity holds great and ugly power, and oftentimes it can twist the truth. Sometimes, it can even twist us.

The first day my best friend called me and told me she had made herself throw up, I cried on the phone. I knew this girl inside and out, had grown up alongside her for the past 14 years. This wasn't her, this just wasn't something she would do. Yes, of course I knew this girl.

But at the same time, I had no idea what she was dealing with.

I didn't understand what it was like to have people telling me each successive day that I wasn't enough. That I would never make it unless I lost 10 pounds. That I didn't have the right "look" to be an Olympic-level athlete.

Day in and day out, my friend was degraded with these words and notions conceived from nothing but the expectations of society and the culture of a brutal sport.

The first words I said to her and the only words I can really, truly offer to any girl struggling with this are, "It's not worth it." Because it just isn't. Compromising your physical, mental and emotional health is not worth being the best at your sport. It's not worth becoming a prima ballerina, fitting into size two jeans, getting boys to like you, becoming part of a sorority, being a model or looking great in a bikini.

What is worth it is you.

I know that sometimes as a girl it is so hard to realize that you are more than just a body. But you are. You are more than just skin and bones. You are a million stories of where you've been, a million visions of where you want to go. You are the kind words you've said to strangers passing by, you are your favorite books, and the quotes hung up above your bed frame. You are the songs you play over and over again till the lyrics are second nature. You are the tattoo you've always wanted to get on your forearm. You are your mother's daughter.

Don't simplify yourself to just a body. You are so much more than that.

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