Are we scared to love ourselves?

Last month I was on a spa day. There I was sat in the comfiest fluffy robe, lounging around like a lady of leisure flicking through a magazine. The selection of magazine’s were your usual lot; pages of celebrity gossip, evaluating people’s fridges and what you possibly can’t be without this season. There were countless pictures of various celebrities on their amazing breaks in Dubai and wherever else the top place is these days, showing off their bikini bodies. Don’t get me wrong these women looked amazing – their bikini’s fit them perfectly, their hair had that curly sea salt quality that blew in the breeze and they were walking on the beach with ease – not like when I do it and my feet sink into the sand too much and get burnt by the heat. They looked the epitome of glamour. As they should being the celebrities that they are. That alien group of people that can achieve the impossible whilst us meer mortals shrink at the side of them.  There were also pictures of other really fit people showing off their gym toned bodies and perfect (clearly unreal) makeup. Since I was laid there in nothing but my bikini and robe I couldn’t help but compare myself to the pictures I was seeing. Of course I wasn’t beach ready like Michele Keegan in this picture – for one I was still nursing my Christmas weight and the constant sessions of eating half a pack of biscuits to myself weren’t helping. That’s completely fine with me as I know everyones bodies are different but even for me I couldn’t help but think, ‘how can I look like that, I would love to look like that’. It didn’t help that my bikini was feeling a little tight…

We are a generation that struggle with self love but have no trouble in complimenting others. For a lot of people it’s easy to love other people and it’s not hard to say that you love something. Of course we love Kylie Jenner’s lips, Leo’s perfect face and Millie Mackintosh’s body and thigh gap but for some crazy reason we can’t seem to say it about ourselves. It seems wrong to me that we’re okay to say it about someone we have never met and that we solely judge on a filtered picture but we would never dream of giving ourselves a compliment. I would rather pour boiling water on my new iPhone (and source of life) than I would caption my Instagram post ‘Me at the beach, look how hot I look!’ It’s just not done. But how sad is that? How screwed up are we as a society that it’s not okay to give some love to ourselves, the people that probably need it the most? And it’s only about to get worse…

I know the figures for how young people and their relationship with self image were bad – but I was so shocked when a recent study found that “more than 90 percent of girls – 15 to 17 years – want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest”. When I was younger the word diet was just never flung around. Granted, my mum is petite and slim so never needed to diet when I was growing up but still, even in my teenage years we didn’t discuss how may calories we had eaten that day or what HITT workout we planned to do that night. But the time when I was young seems so long ago to me and in terms of progress in self confidence and of body shaming it’s even longer ago. If our young girls feel this now then unless we do something drastic about the way people are portrayed in life, the media and in those people we look up to like the celebrities you see in magazines, then this issue is not going to solve itself.

Cheryl has recently come forward and said that body shaming should be illegal. I mean that’s a huge step. To make something that could be seen as an opinion be made an illegal act would change so much; for the better I’m not so sure. It is an important issue – but such a sensitive issue in the media and in every day life as well. One that many people feel awkward and uncomfortable about purely in fear of maybe hurting someone’s feelings or making them feel like they should be worried about their weight or appearance. So maybe it’s because of that that we just don’t speak about it – in that way we are being ignorant to the issue and making it seem, to our younger generation, that what the media says is true. That they need to look like the women in the magazines or they should be wearing and looking like everyone else, and that is just not real life. 

The reality is that with our generation we have serious doubt when it comes to self confidence. In a world where social media rules our lives and needing our actions to be verified by people we don’t know we are in danger of losing ourselves in an unrealistic world. The girl you see posting pictures from events every night and a different outfit everyday could be seriously lonely and in so much debt – but you can create an image of yourself on social media that is so far from the truth. You can be whoever you want to be – but the problem is that we are losing our real selves in the process (deep, right?)

But there is a new type of woman on the horizon and she couldn’t care less; she’s here to stick the finger up to body shamers, out eat you in a burger contest and shout SCREW YOU to those who scrutinize bikini bodies endlessly. I for one am bloody excited – I can’t wait for this type of woman to be more popular than what we idolize today.

ps. The featured image has nothing to do with the post. But who doesn’t love a Vegas throwback?

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