It's hardly suprising that many of us have a desire to be 'insta-perfect' considering our favourite celebrities post dozens of pictures a day of themselves with flawless skin, pouty lips and not one hair out of place. We are now living in a world connected by social media, and with social media comes the false 'perfect' body image. We all know by now that this is partly the work of photshop, however seeing these images everywhere still puts immense pressure on us. If you're simply 'normal looking' then that isn't classed as good enough. And if you're deemed as 'pretty' you're probably still not up to the unrealistically high standards set by the media, and you should dedicate your time to strive for perfection. But I say enough. We are all individuals, and it's time to embrace our flaws to let our unique beauty shine through.
We've all seen some pretty shocking celebrity photoshops. Take the gorgeous Megan Fox; classed as one of the sexiest women on the planet, here you can see what her skin truly looks like, and it's certainly not perfect. But who's is? It's unnatural to have flawless skin 365 days out of the year, and personally I think Megan is more beautiful without photoshop, as after all, what's beautiful about being digitally altered to the point where you don't even look like yourself anymore? I suffered from acne for years, and it honestly takes such a toll on your self confidence, especially when the media pushes this flawless body image that you're supposed to live up to. In my prom photos you can see that my skin isn't perfect, and for a while, this really crushed my confidence, as all I wanted was to look beautiful. But now it doesn't matter to me, because I've learnt that flaws do not define you, and perfect doesn't equal beautiful. All of us are unique individuals, so the world would be painfully boring if everyone met society's beauty standards, and it has to be kept in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and hence everyone is attracted to different body images, so even if the media deems you as perfect, not everyone on the planet will find you attractive. Most people have heard the phrase 'try to please everyone and you will end up pleasing no one' and never has that been more true. It's better to simply please yourself rather than succumb to society's standards, as not only are the standards constantly changing and near impossible to meet, but when you're truly yourself, other people can see that. And that's what people really find attractive- someone completely comfortable in their own skin who isn't afraid to embrace their individuality.
However, it can be argued that the pressure to achieve a certain body shape/weight is the worst of them all. We all know photoshop is used to remove cellulite and imperfections, but seeing all these celebrities with 'flawless' bodies can have a dramatic impact on our mental health, particularly the mental (and physical) health of young girls. Studies have shown that young girls are increasingly concerned about their body image, with four our of five 10 year olds saying they're 'afraid of being fat', and many dieting and exercising excessively. This obsession with obtaining the 'perfect body' can lead to serious, and even life threatening eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. In fact it's estimated that around 10% of teens have had, or are currently suffering with an eating disorder. And why is this? Surely being thin should be the last of a 10 year old's problems, but when beautiful thin celebrities are all you see everyday, it's hard not to let that get under your skin. All the media is doing is constantly pushing this unrealistic standard of beauty and effect the health of today's youth who are supposed to be feeling safe and secure. And then there's the other end of the spectrum: skinny shaming. Even women who are thin, which is the body image society deems as perfect, are criticised for their bodies and are told they're disgusting and anorexic. And then you gain a little weight and you're classed as 'fat'. Once again, you try to please everyone, and end up pleasing no one. No matter what your body shape is, if you're 'supermodel standard' then it seems you're vunerable to criticism from society. So at the end of the day there isn't any point wasting your time trying to achieve this unobtainable standard; all bodies are different, and that's such a beautiful thing as that's what makes you individual. Eating disorders are dangerous, but as long as you're healthy, it honestly doesn't matter if you're curvy or skinny, even if the media tells you otherwise. After all, we know not to trust everything the media tells us.
It's hard to learn to love yourself, no one can deny that, and the pressure to look beautiful is higher than ever. But accepting your flaws is the first step, and your insecurities certainly don't make you weak, it's perfectly natural considering society pushes a false body image, so all you can do is learn to embrace your imperfections. And if after all that society doesn't think you're attractive, then be your own kind of beautiful.
By Rachel S.D.B
images sourced from: http://www.ck750.com/2014/04/03/the-top-five-body-insecurities-for-men-and-women/
Published by Rachel S.D.B