BODY POSITIVITY vs. SOCIAL MEDIA

Body positivity has never been my stronger side. I’m in the process of learning, and even though I still can’t say that I like how my body looks, I do accept it. I haven’t stopped trying,
I still have an open war with my weight, but I don’t stress about it as much as I used to.

The point is we all love beauty. We all want to be beautiful, and unfortunately in the world of social media, nothing is ever beautiful enough. Let’s start with a simple selfie. When I take a selfie I check if the light is right, if I look ok, most of the time I use live focus option on my phone, because I everything looks better with a focus. If I like the picture I’ve made, I post it. But recently I found out, that it doesn’t work that way… Simple selfies usually go through additional photo appps, where all imperfections are smoothed out, certain bits changed and filtered. In the effect we have a picture which is extremely beautiful, but in my opinion it’s not real. I don’t want to criticize anybody for doing this. If you’re doing this it’s totally up to you. Maybe it’s because of my age, maybe because I am a mother, I just don’t feel the pressure anymore. I could easily tell you at least 5 things about my body that I would correct if I had a magic wand, but this is how I look, so I don’t change it on my pictures. Women do so many things to look good, style hair, put make up on, hydrate, shave, pluck, these are part of our everyday life, is it really not enough?

Last week my friend showed me features on my phone, that I didn’t know about. This is the reason why I decided to write about my views on body positivity, selfie and social media.
I can actually make my face look thinner, adjust my nose, chin, and lips. So I thought I’ll make myself a photo with those filters as an experiment. Here it is…

Me filtered, brushed, with my face thinned, bigger eyes, adjusted nose and lips.

I know this is a pretty photo, but it’s not real me. So we see those brushed, filtered photos online, and our brain switches off option – it’s filtered – we start to believe, that some people actually look like that. Don’t you think that it’s a kind of catfishing? We manipulate our photos, and in effect, we pretend someone we’re not. Happened to me once, that I had to deliver a cake to a customer I only seen online before. When I arrived at her work place, I thought she’s not there, because she looked so different to her photos!
Just to compare here’s a similar photo of real me.

The real 5 Star Mum

While doing the research before writing his post I found a study about it: Photoshopping the selfie: self photo editing and photo investment are associated with body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls by Sian A. McLean BSc (Hons), Susan J. Paxton PhD,
Eleanor H. Wertheim PhD, and Jennifer Masters PhD, published in August 2015
( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26311205 ). This study showed, that teenage girls which posted self images on social media regularly showed signs of overvaluation of shape and weight, body dissatisfaction, and the thin ideal body grown in their minds. Thirteen year old girls already manipulating their pictures, to be closer to this “perfect” image. Scary isn’t it?

Another study, about the impact of social media on our mental health proves that social media can cause negative feelings about our body, FOMO, anxiety or even depression.

My thoughts about it are – as a mother, I want to teach my children that they are more than enough. They aren’t perfect, because this perfection in our appearance doesn’t really exist, but they are themselves, and every imperfection makes them unique. I’d like to teach them body positivity. How can I do that when even built in app on the phone, let us adjust our facial features, when online even beautiful sunrise is being filtered as if it wasn’t beautiful enough, and pictures of other people, manipulated, makes you think you don’t look right.

We are all different, we are not perfect, and this is the greatest, most beautiful thing – WE ARE UNIQUE.

My little girl, who I want to teach body confidence.
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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Beth Elkassih

    What an interesting topic. I have 2 millennial daughters who take selfies all the time. And yes, I think it can cause body image issues. I plan to show them this article!

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