We're all sick of social media constantly barraging us with ideas of what the perfect body should look like. It's hard to even scroll down your Instagram feed without seeing some fitness account advocating for an unrealistic exercise routine or a celebrity promoting some sort of flat-tummy tea. Maybe you've bought into the ideas that so many public figures are putting forward; maybe you think that your body isn't good enough. But the school year is only just beginning, and it's not too late to change the mindset you've developed about your body before September is over. This month, consider rethinking the body-oriented goals you've probably set for this semester. Instead of starting a new diet that will leave you tired and miserable or beginning an exercise regimen that feels more like a punishment, considering focusing on embracing your body as it is now.
This might seem like a daunting task on which to embark on your own. But luckily, there is a whole community of women on social media who are rejecting the picture-perfect woman society expects us to be and are instead focusing on the unfiltered: on the real. These women post photos of their bodies without modification. They abandon the idea that you need to look a certain way to be beautiful. They encourage all women, regardless of age, weight, sexual orientation, bra size, etc. to embrace who they are now, in this moment, without trying to change. They work to dismantle the culture that makes us believe that there is a problem with the way we look.
Should you make the life-changing choice to start a body positivity journey, one of the first steps for your new lifestyle (besides throwing away your scale and sticking the middle finger at diet culture) should be logging onto Instagram and following these three accounts who are especially active in the body positivity movement
Megan is one of the first Instagram accounts I followed when working towards a healthier relationship with my body. The enthusiasm and energy she puts forward in the videos she posts is contagious. Every day she shares messages inspiring people to go against the unrealistic standards of beauty portrayed in the media and to instead be confident in the body they have right now.
Gina is a self-proclaimed "Body acceptance advocate" and "Diet culture buster," two descriptors which she exemplifies in all of her posts. She talks openly about vulnerability, never trying to hide her struggles or what she is going through. She is especially helpful to those who may be recovering from an eating disorder, reminding her followers that you need to eat to fuel your body. She preaches the importance of mental health and slams the idea that you ever need to go on a diet.
I admire Jen because of her confidence in her own body. She has recovered from an eating disorder and now preaches a message of self-love to her followers. She never hides her stretch marks, and shows the difference that posing can make in how people appear in their instagram posts. Her confidence is truly inspiring, and she is someone who truly exemplifies what it means to love yourself. Additionally, her love for cinnamon rolls is something that especially resonated with me!
All of these women have helped me begin to accept myself as I am and focus on working towards improving my mental health.
I highly encourage anyone who wants to become more body positive to follow these three accounts today!