“I can’t seem to go ONE DAY without thinking something bad about myself. I catch my reflection in the mirror and all I see is oily skin, spots or crows feet. I get changed at the gym and catch my back fat in the mirror and it just makes me want to cry…I can’t seem to stop body-shaming myself and making myself feel crap.”
It would be easy to tell you to learn to ‘love yourself’ (very wanky and annoying) and to love all the nooks and crannies of your body, to be confident with it, but that would make me a HUGE hypocrite. If we could just flip the switch and do that…would we not have done it already? Looking down at your naked self and thinking DAMN is easier said than done….for EVERYONE!
All I do know is that the world can be an unyielding place, especially where perceptions of beauty are concerned, and the harshest critic of our bodies is often us.
But with advertising like this, what hope do we have?
I had a very heated debate with someone about the above poster when it first came out. He argued that it was no different to the half-naked male models featured in perfume ads and Calvin Klein posters everyday, so what were girls complaining about? Agreed, the fashion industry uses picture-perfect models all the time to sell product to men and women, and has done so since the dawn of advertising (just watch Mad Men)…what I (and many others) had issue with most, was the accompanying statement/accusation.
‘ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?’
You don’t find ads like the below with enormous text saying ‘Are you hot enough to wear this aftershave?’ ‘Do you look like this in YOUR boxers?’
I’ve no doubt some men look at these posters and feel similar pangs of envy that their abs have never seen the light of day, or that they don’t have the chiselled jaw of a Greek god and a stunning girl hanging around their neck. BUT…this neon yellow Protein World poster fully called out women who don’t look like that in a bikini, and tried to make them feel actively guilty about it.
THIS IS WRONG! AND MAKES ME VERY, VERY ANGRY!
It’s hard to shut out bad thoughts, we all have them, we all have bits we’d like to change – but the good news is the media doesn’t have all the power.
It’s a true statement that we don’t see the good in ourselves like others do, and guaranteed there are people in your life who are looking at a totally different person to the one you see.
Here are my top tips to get over being so hard on yourself:
- Remember that almost 100% of what you see in the media and on Instagram is PHOTO-SHOPPED to hell! You may as well be comparing yourself to this:
2. Do NOT look at yourself in the mirror at the gym (unless you want to). Think about it – harsh lighting, red face, sweat patches, tight clingy clothing and a frizzled mop of hair – it’s just not the wisest thing you could do if you’re having an off day! You’re there to do yourself good on the inside – not the outside! Don’t sweat the small stuff
3. LISTEN to your friends! Real friends won’t bullshit you! Take the compliments when they come, smile, soak them up and think YES…I am a goddamn Goddess!
4 . If all else fails remember this….YOU ARE NOT ALONE in having a shit day every once and a while! This shouldn’t make me laugh, as I have a serious bowel condition…but it does!
WE CREATE LIFE PEOPLE…REMEMBER THAT!