This is a post I have been itching to write since before I even started my blog, and although I’ve touched on similar topics before, I’ve never really gone into as much depth as I’d have liked. Today I want to address body image. A vast and extremely volatile topic, I know, but it is something that I believe needs to be discussed.
Bodies, we all have them, however different they may be from one another, it is something we all share. From Kim Kardashian, to the old lady living next door to you, from David Cameron to your new born baby cousin. We all share this one similarity. So why on earth do our bodies cause such a stir?! Everywhere you look, people’s bodies are being discussed. Whether it’s a fat-shaming pic of the latest celebrity, or the whole world in awe of Kim K’s latest bikini photo (yes, I know I refer to Kim a lot, I love her). However, what bothers me is ‘WHY DO PEOPLE CARE?!’…Well, I think I have the answer to that.
As a society, there are unwritten sets of rules about how a body is supposed to look. Now here, I may get some people who disagree, but hear me out. Say one day you’re scrolling through Instagram, or some other social media account and you come across a holiday snap of one of your friends looking amaaaazing, with a flat stomach, tanned skin and smooth long legs to die for, you’d like it right? And no doubt lots of people will comment on there saying how amazing said person looks. Ok, now imagine this person was super pale, a size 18, with leg hair and armpit hair visible…can you imagine the same admiration being shown? Be honest, I don’t think it would happen. And to me, that is truly sad, because who is to say that this person isn’t just as deserving of admiration. I witnessed it myself a few weeks back…I follow someone on Instagram who takes amazingly beautiful selfies on a daily basis and has gathered a large following on social media, however, in one photo you could see their armpit hair, and all of a sudden people stopped commenting on how beautiful this person was, and started calling out the armpit hair with some even claiming that it was the most disgusting thing they had ever seen. And why is that?! Well this person is a woman, and according to societal norms, women are not supposed to have body hair. But who decides this? And why the hell do people care if someone else has body hair? If you don’t personally like it, then that is fine, but why degrade others for it? The truth is, this sort of degradation happens every day. Wherever we look, men and women alike are under constant discrimination of their bodies. As a society, why can’t we look past a person’s appearance and instead value them on their intellectual and emotional traits?
The same goes for ‘fat and skinny shaming’. One minute everyone wants women to look like a Victoria Secret model making bigger women feel inferior, the next minute we’re supposed to gain curves like Kim K or Beyonce which makes the smaller women in society feel ashamed. I’m surprised women have any self-confidence left at all! The same goes for men though. I’ve spoken to a few guys recently who have all agreed that society also sets out standards for how men should look. Many men feel just as pressured as women to look a certain way, with muscles upon muscles and covered in tattoos. It’s not surprising that so many men lack confidence (although they are less inclined to discuss it than women, which is sad!). The worst thing about all this, is the effect it’s having on young people, from little children to teenagers. So many children these days must see their own parents being critical of their bodies…the mothers may feel they are ‘fat’, or the father’s might be on a constant quest to gain more muscle…and while it is 10000% okay for you to better yourself, do it in a positive light, rather than a discriminatory one. For a young child to hear their parents being critical of their own bodies, think what it must do to the child. And on top of this, there is the constant media focus on celebrities’ bodies. Levels of self-confidence are just gonna get lower and lower…and that is something that is truly tragic!!!
Anyway, I really could talk about this topic forever, but I think I’ve already made this post quite long. I hope this post has inspired you to challenge societies ‘norms’ about appearance, and made anyone think twice before judging someone on how they look.
As long as you are happy and confident in your own skin, who the hell cares about what you look like?!
Be happy and appreciate your body.