Scrolling through Instagram and other social media platforms, you come upon a picture of a person with what seems to be the absolutely perfect body type. Millions of likes go to pictures of women with the tiniest waists and perkiest butts or to the men with chiseled abdominal muscles and strongly structured jawlines. I'm not saying these types of bodies aren't beautiful, but I believe social media tends to label these body types as "ideal" and puts discouraging thoughts in the heads of boys and girls everywhere.
I've been fooled by Pinterest many times when I was instructed to "follow this exercise routine to get the perfect summer body!" The truth of the matter is, I am not genetically predisposed to have the body that all of the Instagram models have. I have some meat on my bones and a flat butt— no amount of "30-day squat challenges" is going to change that. Would I like for my body to be different? Yes. Am I upset that I can't change it? No. I've accepted the fact that my body is beautiful in its own way, and if I spend my life comparing myself to what I see on social media, I will never be confident in who I am.
Just like all things in life, trends come and go. Think about it; you would not be caught dead in those bell-bottomed jeans that your mom wore in high school five years ago, but now they're all the rage. The same goes for body types. If you were to look back on all of the magazine covers from years ago, there were all different body types being advertised as ideal. That should be reason enough to be confident and happy in who you are. If you commit all of your time chasing what you think is the perfect figure, you'll never catch up, since it is always changing.
It's just like the iPhone; the minute you buy the newest model, Apple announces the release of the next one. We all want what we don't have, and body types are no exception. I am a straight girl, and you bet your ass I spend more time on the beach looking at girls in bikinis comparing my body to theirs than guys that I find attractive. Jealousy is not a bad thing; it can inspire us to be our best selves. The issue arises when instead of working on self-improvement, you begin working on a complete self-transformation.
Think about it. Someone out there wants a body type like yours just as much as you want a body type like someone else. You are that person walking down the beach getting looked at by others who want your body, as much as sometimes you may not feel like it.
The most frustrating part about the media's portrayal of ideal body image to me is the lack of emphasis on inner beauty. Sure, that person on television is attractive, but are they kind to others? Are they driven and motivated? Are they honest in who they are? A two-dimensional photo in the media may have more of an influence on boys and girls in our society than one may think. If that's the case, why are our magazines not covered with scholars, humanitarians, or scientists? Why are we allowing physical beauty to serve as inspiration, instead of encouraging viewers and readers to be good humans?
At the end of the day, I want to be kind more than I want to have a perkier butt. I want to be a positive influence on someone more than I want to lose a few pounds. I want to love myself more than I want to exhaust myself attempting to be someone I'm just not meant to be.
There are no rules that say you can't change your body if you're not happy with it. However, it should be your choice, and not decided on by someone who tells you your body is not beautiful the way it is. As I said earlier, use jealously as inspiration for improvement, not transformation.
Also, if you see someone that you think is handsome or beautiful, tell them. It'll make their day.
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