The Age of Social Media, and the effect it has on our Body Image.

I grew up in the age of AOL chat rooms, where the only access to computers was my school library. You had to actually make friends then, our faces were not glued to cell phones and we actually enjoyed a concert with our eyes and ears and didn’t have to show the world how much fun we were having. We didn’t have things shoved in our face, in fact the older I got the more I noticed how much society devalues women. Over the last twenty years the internet has grown into a global hub, where strangers bully for fun and where we somehow feel connected to others. People competing with others who have altered their image to please others. It’s so backwards. The fashion industry for years has showcased extremely thin women, making the average woman not feel good enough. Famous super model Kate Moss was even once quoted saying ” nothing tastes as good as skinny feels “. But is this really true? The model world known to be filled with drug abuse, mental health issues and eating disorders doesn’t actually reflect happiness. As women, we’ve always had such pressure to maintain this image. An image of perfection, from the days of the corset to current day celebrity diet teas. It seemed as if all these products hinted that we ourselves weren’t good enough, that we need these alterations to be considered beautiful. An obsession on our bodies took away from the fact that we are so much more than a body. This began the notion in so many women’s head that their purpose was to seek the approval of others instead of focusing on themselves and their goals. Times have changed yet so much has remained the same. From diets to relationship goals, travelers to celebrity lifestyles we see millions of people showing a “perfect” image of their lives. So many people living their lives to compare to others, feeling that their life isn’t good enough. Imagine if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves, how much more we would accomplish and the joy we would feel. That energy is contagious and could change the world around you.

At first I myself was caught up in the comparison world, At the age of 14 I had an eating disorder because I felt I needed to look like others. At 19 diet pills became my new habit, barely eating and slimming down more than ever before. I focused on my sexuality and my body because this is what seemed to get the most attention. My mind wasn’t appreciated so I didn’t appreciate it either. So fast forward thru childbirth where my body changed so much, I went the natural route and altered my eating habits and began working out religiously. It became something I have tried to maintain ever since, though sometimes falling off I realized it’s ok. I stopped comparing my body and started loving it every faze. Not waiting until I was a certain weight to buy clothes, Im beautiful and worthy and any weight. There was a boom in surgeries online, it was everywhere, thrown in our face with very little clothes and lots of followers. What in life is ever easy? Like Britney Spears said ” you better work bitch”. First of all, have you seen how aggressive these surgeries are to our bodies? Because we’re asleep you trust it comes out good and what if it doesn’t? I know people personally who had horrible complications post surgery and they usually say they regret ever doing it. We may say it’s for ourselves but it’s only because we’re comparing our beauty to others, society has made us believe this is what matters. If you’re looking for a positive page to follow, start following positive platforms like i weigh founded by Actress and fellow feminist Jameela Jamil, focusing on body positivity and self love. Showing that we are much more than just the body that holds our mind and soul.

Start surrounding yourself around people who accept you don’t conform for others acceptance. The groundwork for a positive body image is to work on those traumas that have altered the way you see yourself to begin with. Therapy is a great way to help you start to see that you’re good enough just the way you are. That your mind and soul is what radiates true beauty. Women have now set a strong platform, showing that we are much more than just trophies or child bearers. The moment we stop comparing ourselves and just focus on our healing and growth is the moment we gain that power back. It’s taken me years to realize this, and it’s hard with social media but I realize it’s not all how it seems. These girls promote unhealthy products for their own monetary needs, just like every aspect of life anything that seems to good to be true probably is. Working out is not only the best way to lose weight but it does wonders for anxiety and depression it even helps your skin and hair. And when you’re working out focus on your body how strong it is how blessed you are to have those legs and arms that work together. Show appreciation to yourself and applaud small achievements, when i started doing this i noticed better results. And ultimately my need to fit this perfect mold went away, and the love for myself just as I am increased. Filter your social media to things that bring you joy, things that empower you. Remember we don’t see what happens behind the camera, these people can be depressed and struggling physically but only show us what they choose. Stop staying stuck online comparing all day and start living YOUR best life. You don’t have to look a certain way to find love or to be happy, people will love you when you love yourself. You’re able to enjoy yourself more when you stop focusing on how you look and more on how you feel.

NYC based Blogger and Podcast Host, Advocate for Empowement and Mental Health Awareness

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