We live in a society today that, so very unfortunately, picks apart peoples appearance on a daily basis and compares people against one another.
It happens to everyone and for those that live their life in public eye and on social media, there is no way for them to hide from this.
It isn’t just happening to celebrities, but it is happening to everyone else, whether it’s in the playground, at work, or even just walking down the street, males and females, everyone may have suffered some sort of criticism about the way they look at some point in their life.
The power of social media works in funny ways though, as much as it used in a negative way to bring people down, it is also used to fight the shaming around body image.
Now, there is so much body positivity and promotion for self-love and people are starting to fight back and stand against women’s body shaming.
We see so many advocates of body positivity and so many plus-size models paving the way on accepting and flaunting what you’ve got.
In our first few years of life we don’t know what flaws are but we grow up in a society that tell us we have to look a certain way because of social media.
As children start turning into young adults and going through puberty, our bodies start changing very quickly and this can be the foundations to self-esteem issues and eating disorders.
According to Beat Eating Disorders, there are approximately 1.25 million people in the UK suffering with an eating disorder and 11% estimated to be male.
Dove have recently found through their 2017 Global Girl Beauty and Confidence report that over half of girl around the world do not have high body esteem and when girls don’t feel good about the way they look, 7 in 10 will stop themselves from eating or otherwise put their health at risk.
The research also found that 7 in 10 girls think there is too much importance placed on beauty as a source of happiness.
This research campaign clearly shows that body positivity and self-esteem is a very real problem at the moment and it is safe to say that the media and social media are one of, if not the biggest cause of these problems.
We are seeing a surge of social media influencers and models that are campaigning body positivity and boosting self-esteem levels in young people.
Iskra Lawrence, Ashley Graham, Kate Wasley and Hunter McGrady are just some of those encouraging body positivity, accepting and loving the body you are in.
One of my favourite body activists is Iskra Lawrence, I love her passion, I love her honesty and I love her determination to fight body shaming and encourage self-love.
In 2017, Iskra did a talk at the University of Nebraska for Tedx Talks with the moral of the story ‘ending the pursuit of perfection’.
During the opening of her talk she said, “It’s crazy these days, we have so many pressures, and now we have social media, with the rise of social media, we literally have a weapon of mass destruction to our self-esteem 24/7,” and the sad thing is, this is true.
Iskra made so many more valid points and most importantly, used her voice to share her own personal experiences and take them to inspire others to love themselves.
“From a very young age, we’ve been conditioned to believe our success and our happiness it highly dependent on our attractiveness.”
“We need to stop trying to attain perfection because we are good enough already.”
To finish her talk, Iskra ends with some good inspiration for anyone saying, “I want you to understand that if you learn self care, practice self care you can then gift self care. Imagine being able to give your loved ones the gift of self-love. Speak to your body in a loving way, it’s the only one you’ve got, and it’s your home, it deserves your respect. If you see anyone tearing themselves down, build them back up and watch your life positively grow when you give up the pursuit of perfection, because the real beauty ideal is being imperfectly you.”
Not only has Iskra Lawrence given a very thought provoking talk with Ted, Ashley Graham, another body activist, gave a wonderful speak at Berklee Valencia in 2015.
I absolutely loved one of Ashley’s opening statements when she said, “I felt free when once I realised I was never going to fit the narrow mould that society wanted me to fit in, I was never going to be perfect enough for an industry that defines perfection from the outside in,” and I think it is important that everyone relates to this and understands that no one will ever fit perfectly into that narrow mould.
There are so many women that inspire me everyday to love myself and love where I am mentally, physically and emotionally.