Sunday, April 3, 2016

Social Media Beauty Standards

Social Media is a difficult subject for me: Its where I can express myself creatively, its where I can interact with friends, the funny posts are always hilarious and I feel like although you have trolls there’s always this support system that’s absent from the real reality of my life…Then there’s the dark side, the side that is continuously bombarding you with images of beautiful site models, and praising people who are above average in the top beauty trend of current society and…its damaging, so so damaging.

I want to be empowered by my own body, I want to love who I am, but social media and the internet tells me if I don’t have the right amount of lips, “on fleek” eyebrows, a flat stomach, and an ass I am ugly and below average. How can I possibly love myself when I don't have any of these things?

It got to the point where 109 pound me was honestly looking in the mirror and staring at what I thought was a repulsive “Jabba The Hut” type figure with bushy un-kept eyebrows and the thinnest lips, I found myself undeniably revolting, to the point where I’m trying to cover myself up in a bikini to not gross anyone else out.

I would be speaking to someone in a swim suit and instead of listening to them I’m thinking “oh my god they must think I look so ugly and chubby”. Instead of enjoying vacations the only time I was fine was in a high wasted bikini or covered up, otherwise I was genuinely under the impression that I grossed everyone else on the holiday out with my presence, I didn’t have the ideal thigh gap, the Kim K ass, the super flat stomach, or even the boobs, so I wasn’t worthy of anyone else’s time.

I wouldn’t allow anyone to post a photo of me sitting down in a bikini, or even to the side because I thought my “pot belly” was sickening, instead I took the liberty of making awkward poses that made my stomach appear slimmer, if I had to appear in a photo in a regular pose I would suck in until no end then blur any lines out with some app I had. It gets worse- before then I would even “thinify” myself, not to the point where anyone would notice, but the fact that I did it verified how self-conscious I was and how ashamed I was with myself, it’s not something I was ever going to admit (I was literally going to take that to the grave with me) but I feel like it’s so important for other girls out there who are going through the same thing to know.

Not even in a bikini, I would be sitting in a pair of jeans and unable to physically concentrate because I swore I could “feel my fat”, I stopped wearing tight fitting clothing that much, couldn’t sit down in shorts without feeling sick with myself, and felt like an overall lump.

It started to affect my health and I developed an eating disorder at age 21, this is the hardest thing for me to admit I think, because I am still so humiliated with myself and I feel like people will judge, but even if this helps one or two girls suffering, this post is worth it.

I don’t want sympathy because I am getting better, that’s not the point of this post, the point is that it makes me so mad that this overwhelming trend to be this skinny goddess online caused me to hurt myself physically and mentally, that it caused me to be so ashamed with who I was that I put my health at risk only for the sake of attaining an unrealistic beauty standard.I would look at myself and instead of loving me for who I am, I would pick out every single flaw, magnify it, and make it a huge issue and in conclusion: hate myself.

If we could praise other women for who they are, not make fun of other girls 24/7 for having “weird eyebrows” “a chubby stomach” “a flat ass” “no boobs” “thin lips” then maybe we could stop so many other girls from being sucked in to this black smoke of self-consciousness, that feels suffocating and is all consuming. Also, I want to point out that I am in no way condemning any women who does have a wonderful body or epic eyebrows, etc. I just feel like society online should stop focusing on these beauty standards and start celebrating women of all shapes and sizes, race's, religions, and cultures so that girls who can't compete with the current beauty trend feel beautiful also, every person has the right to feel comfortable in their body.

I took the self-hating person I was and got help, I stopped focusing on trying to be this "idealistic" person I felt everyone wanted me to be and embraced who I was. I also stopped judging other women on their appearances and opened my mind more to the fact that every person is beautiful in their own individual way.

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