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Comparisons, so 2020...

The truth about staying body positive in a time when comparison is at its peak

March 07, 2021
Wellbeing
Photography - Ali Syaaban
Contributor - Mallory McLane

With a digital device in our hands that provides access to the world over and everyone in it – especially the celebrities we’ve put on a pedestal – increasingly over time, staying body positive has become a challenge, in which, more often than not, we struggle to uphold. Obsessive beauty filters changing the size of our lips, eyes, nose…erasing the signs of having any pores, wrinkles vanish, freckles appear, contouring and highlighter suddenly pop onto the screen and onto our faces; it’s really bizarre if you think about it. How the h*ll did we get here?

It was only the week before last, when that photo of Kylie Jenner was released from the set the Skims campaign photoshoot, in which the world went wild for her thigh gap, long legs lean body and trim physique. This must be the goal we should all be after, right? The dreamy, made to model, body that screams, “I’m perfect”. But – again, how did we get here?

Time to rewind. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

What is body positivity? It promotes the idea that people should feel happy and proud of their body, whatever shape or size it is – Yes! Yes! 100 times, yes! We love this. A major goal of the movement, which began to emerge in its current form in 2012, is to address some of the ways in which body image influences mental health and wellbeing.

Body positivity says, “all bodies are beautiful”, and so do we. So, the aim is to help people understand how popular media images contribute to the relationship people have with their bodies, including how they feel about food, exercise, clothing, health, identity and self-care. More than anything, the ultimate goal of the body positivity movement is for people to develop healthier and more realistic relationships with their bodies. But, how do we get there when filters are “on fleek” and images such as the one we’ve mentioned are floating around the interweb and telling us this the dream?

Comparison will be the death of us – research has shown that exposure to depictions of the “thin ideal” images increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood states, eating disorder symptoms and decreased self-esteem. We all know this and yet it’s easy to more often than not find ourselves making comparisons, which leave us feeling deflated. So, how do we remain body positive?

  1. Practice self-love
  2. Sign out of social media
  3. Find a physical activity you love
  4. Remind yourself of the things you love about yourself
  5. Surround yourself with people who love, support and accept you for who you are
  6. Focus on being healthy – not skinny
  7. Not everything is, as it seems in edited social media images and magazines
  8. Find a mantra that works for you and repeat it daily
March 07, 2021
Wellbeing
Photography - Ali Syaaban
Contributor - Mallory McLane

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