Social media – it can be great, but most of the time it just allows people to hypothetically slap you in the face. This “selfie” generation, the pre and post-workout full body shots and every other form of a picture that allows somebody to publicize themselves is an infectious disease that spreads quicker than the bird flu. We all scroll through our feeds, looking through all the pictures people take of them shoving things in our face, more specifically making us feel less or allows us to more appropriately degrade ourselves. We sit there on Instagram or Facebook and stare at that person posing in the mirror with their newly transformed body. After minutes of sitting and envying them for strict dedication, our eyes drift to the caption: thank god I learned what the gym was or no longer fat but fit! The captions vary and explode. Almost every person you know suddenly becoming apart of the “fitfam.” The entirety of their social media posts entail pictures of dinners that would not hold over a 3-year-old, the detox drinks and smoothies, pictures of cardio machines that state the time as being over 4 hours. The list goes on and on as the self-esteem of our peers plummet.
What is social media for? To record our memories, share them with our friends and families, post the good things that happen or a birthday we are honoring? But lately it seems as though it is just a place to make you doubt your worth. You are not worthless because you cannot keep up with eating a certain way and exercising so aggressively like your peer. You are not to make anybody feel worthless because they are not exercising as aggressively as you are or eating a certain way that does not appease you. Exercise and eating a certain way does not define your health nor does it define your worth. People become obsessive to achieve this image of the “ideal body” by going through all of this hurt and frustration. Diets DO NOT WORK. If at any point you are hungry or mentally exhausted, you are not being healthy, you are obsessing and putting yourself into a dangerous situation.
I will sit here honestly as a 20-year-old woman and say yes, I struggled with body image issues, but who the hell has not? It is a way of human life and thinking. It happens. I have worked extremely hard to get to a place where I love my body. But honestly speaking, it did not help when I was not “overweight” or “thin,” and felt horrible about myself to sit there and see a friend posting her “progress pictures.” It also did not help when everybody knew so well that she only lost that weight so quickly because of her neglect to eat and her obsessive necessity of exercising until she could not bear to stand it any longer. I say this not as a judgmental young woman, but rather a concerned peer to our society. Seeing that on social media and seeing how everybody applauded her for being “sooooo thin!” instead of being concerned about how she got there in less than six months is a topic for concern. Many people struggling with body image use pictures like hers as “thinspiration” to try and make themselves get to the same point. Truth is, when you fail your diet and cannot deal with intense exercise, when you cry at the reflection staring you back in the mirror or consistently compare yourself to every single female you see cross your path, it is those same people, the same accounts and the same pictures that send you into a downward spiral of hating yourself even more than you had already before. All of it – it makes you feel like a failure, especially when you have society judging you at every chance they get. But I will let you in on a little secret: you are not a failure. You are human. Life is not meant to be spent counting calories, exercising after every meal or being stuck drinking smoothies of kale and blueberries. That, my friends, is called obsession. It is not being healthy. Health comes from within and before you can worry about your actual body, which by that I mean cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc, (no, not your figure), you need to work on your mental and emotional health.
Do not let those accounts get to you if you feel down about your appearance. If you need to hide those posts to help you get through the self-hate, you do it. If somebody comments on your post something unnecessary such as calling you a name or commenting on your weight, block them! You are allowed to fight for yourself and the life you deserve. Do not let somebody else’s lifestyle dictate your happiness. And until next time, ciao loves!
*This article is meant in no way to target those who exercise*
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Published by Samiellie