I’ve been thinking a lot about social media these days, the way I spend hours scrolling through endless photos on Instagram, comparing myself to these photos of girls I’ve never met nor seen. I found myself wishing I had their arms, stomach, legs. The way their skin resembles a porcelain doll with nonexistent pores, even in the worst lighting.
I felt bad about myself, about who I was and what I looked like. No longer is a woman’s body the desired form. We’re using the bodies of young girls to promote bikinis, clothing, etc (I’m looking at you Brandy Melville). Sixteen-year-old children are modeling for big swimsuit brands, making us think that’s how we should look. Being less than 110 pounds is where we need to be, anything above that is “plus sized.” We’re taking women like Jennifer Lawrence and placing them in this plus sized group, categorizing them for not being society’s new standard of normal. But why? When did that become “plus size”? If you can’t think of an answer, here’s why: it’s not. Sorry to break it to you, but no matter how hard the press tries to put her in this category, she doesn’t belong there.
Where did the Hilary Duffs and Raven Symones on Disney Channel go? What happened to standard sized women playing their respective ages on TV? Now we’re replacing these naturally beautiful and confident stars with the Zendayas and the Bella Thornes. Girls who are supposed to be playing high schoolers and college kids but look no more than 15 years old. We’re corrupting our youth. They see these girls on screen, idolize them, and slowly kill themselves trying to attain that waist circumference. It’s sickening. No longer are the beauty standards that of Marilyn Monroe but now that of Kendall Jenner and Bella Gigi Hadid. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be skinny, as long as that’s your natural body and you aren’t harming your health to achieve it. Enjoy your body and who you are, no matter the size of your dress or number on the scale.
What happened to curves? What happened to having hips, thighs and an ass? Of course we all know Beyoncé is the epitome of this but, is there anyone else? Where are they all going? Back in the day, most famous women we idolized had her body and now we’re skipping meals just to fit into the size 0 skinny jeans we bought from Abercrombie.
Why are we not progressing as a society like we should? Women have begun contouring their face for hours to have the cheekbones and brow lines that “slay” the selfie game, just to reach more than 200 likes on Instagram.
They take that makeup off and look almost unrecognizable. If it takes more than 30 minutes to do makeup, you’re doing something wrong. Be natural and beautiful. You were made to look the way you were, so stop hiding. There’s only one of you so cherish that. Love who you are instead of paying hundreds of dollars to become a different person.
Rather than learning how to change yourself, learn how to love yourself. In the end, you’ll be happier, I promise.
So social media, I will not apologize for being a woman. I will not apologize for my thighs, stomach, arms or legs. I will not sit here and feel sorry for myself because I do not look like that 16-year-old bikini model who hasn’t hit puberty yet. I am beautiful. I am a woman. I strive to be the Monroe in the sea of Hadids. I will honor, respect and love my body because I am healthy and happy. I am strong, fit and athletic. I have no need to be ashamed of who I am when in reality it’s society who is warping the standards.
The media has attempted to shame me for my appearance over and over again, but I am through with letting it get to me. I will eat what I want, when I want, because that’s true life and at the end of the day, we all know eating that pizza is going to bring us more satisfaction than a bowl of lettuce. I will not starve to be something Instagram and Tumblr deemed as beautiful. I will live a happy, full life knowing that I am who I am for a reason.
So social media, this is my official go f**k yourself, because I love every inch of my body and I will not apologize for that.
Your ass-kicking, curvy and happy 20-year-old woman.