CW: This article mentions dieting and body image which could be triggering to some readers.
If you're seamlessly scrolling though Facebook or Instagram when you get a few moments to yourself to see the latest new trend or the hottest new outfits - you're far from alone. We all do it. Some more than others. It has made it so much harder to see beauty in yourself and the materialistic things you have when you see celebs with the most curvaceous body, who've spent thousands of pounds spent on looking perfect. Though those multimillionaires are not walking around in Gucci or Prada, but in simplicity. So, why do we hold such value over materialistic things?
I was conversing with my sister the other day in the car, and one thing that drew my attention was when she was talking about cars. The subject revolved around when she got her first car, and how she saw certain differences when driving on the road. In her Ford, many people would overtake her, but when she transitioned into her Audi, no one would. It might have to do with horsepower, but it did get me thinking about idealistic perceptions.
The unattainable looks held by the media, along with the so called 'standard' can be viewed as mentally exhausting and draining. Whether it’s your friend's holiday snap or a celeb's gym routine, this constant need to the best version of yourself, but only through 'Kim Kardashian new food routine' is toxic.
Research suggests that who we compare ourselves to is key. You don't need a £5,000 Gucci belt be on Gigi Hadid's new diet. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Dye your hair whatever colour you want. I know it can be hard to change your judgements when you have social media showing you what is perfection, cause sometimes I fall into the trap, too. But you are your own perfection.
“People are comparing their appearance to people in Instagram images, or whatever platform they're on, and they often judge themselves to be worse off,” When talking about ‘gym life’ and posting ‘fitspiration’ posts in the ‘right’ gym outfits depicting beautiful women doing exercise, or at least pretending to do so – might make you be harsh on yourself.
Social media and body image studies are still in its early stages as most are correlational. ”This means we can’t prove whether, for example, Facebook causes someone to have negative feelings about their appearance, or whether people who are concerned about their appearance are more likely to use Facebook.” Some research questions the sole reason of why are you on social media? Are you just consuming what others' post or just editing and posting yourself and following friends/family or are you mostly following celebs?
In terms of positivity, the researchers found that exposing women to #bodypositive Instagram content appeared to have positive thoughts about their own bodies. However, researchers found out that women still were objectifying themselves. Either way, this fixation with body image, derived from what social media depicts what perfection is, effects us more than we lead on. Loving oneself for whatever we have our own, our sizes, our facial feature, our weight makes each and everyone of us unique. It's time to love yourself and see the your own beauty that your friends and family sees.