It’s the time of year when articles, adverts, billboards and even catch-ups with friends are taken over by talk of diets, getting fit, reaching that ‘goal weight’ and bikini bodies.
This year, I’m having none of it.
Don’t get me wrong – of course I want to be healthy and to look and feel good about my body. But I’ve realised that’s not always best measured by a number on a scale or clothing label.
But there’s one thing that’s made upholding that message particular hard: social media.
Last month, a study by a group of Sydney psychologists found women are far more likely to compare themselves to what they see on social media than on adverts or TV. (Post continues after gallery.)
And because it’s generally the ‘most attractive’ photos shared on social media (which in turn are often edited or enhanced), most women in the survey reported they thought others looked better than they did on social media, leaving them feeling “unhappier with their appearance and more motivated to start unhealthy weight-loss activities, like going on a diet, than when they made comparisons in person.”
It’s a feeling that will strike close to home for many.
So what to do? Determined not to fall back into that trap, in the last few weeks I’ve made a small but significant change in the way I use social media, in particular Instagram.
Listen: Mia Freedman makes a case for realistic images on Instagram. Post continues after audio.
Any time I see an account that makes me feel bad or unhappy about my body, I simply click the unfollow button and seek in its place an account that does make me feel good about myself.
I’ve replaced several of the usual ‘fitspo’ accounts with these and already I can notice a difference in the way I look and feel about my body.
With more than 350 thousand followers, Megan Jayne Crabbe — a.k.a. bodyposipanda — describes herself as a “body positive feminist ED warrior”.
She takes ‘before and after’ pictures with a difference (see her post-Christmas lunch picture that went viral), feel-good quotes and body love selfies.
Here’s to another year of belly roll appreciation, cellulite celebration, and unapologetic self love. I refuse to make any resolutions to shrink myself. I refuse to see my reflection as a problem that needs fixing. I refuse to spend another year at war with my body. If you didn’t conquer body love in 2016, that’s okay. Because I believe in you so damn much, and I hope that this year you realise how powerful you truly are, how perfect your body really is, and how WORTHY you are of self love, exactly as you are. Here’s to leaving self hatred behind and embracing our magic in 2017 ✨I’ll be right here, cheering on every single one of you. And I am forever grateful to those of you who cheer for me too. Sending you all so much love! ???????????????????? Undercrackers are @freyalingerie ????
The Melbourne-based artist and feminist has more than 87000 followers who love her for her body positive illustrations with a difference.
The ‘Self Love Club’ tattoo she designed for herself to encourage self acceptance even spawned its own movement.
23-year-old Kelly Jobin is on a mission to “Make self love the new sexy”.
My skin isn’t perfectly smooth. I don’t have a flat stomach. My butt doesn’t stand up by itself. I’ve got lines, fat, skin–OH A NORMAL HUMAN BODY! ????????My natural body in its natural state deserves recognition???????? It deserves validation. It so deserves to be loved and cherished just as much as my body when it’s being manipulated, flexed or angled to look “better.” I refuse to think I look better in certain lighting, sucking in, flexing, any of that. I truly love my body just as much when it’s like this. Because this is my BODY. How else can I explain it to myself? I have to love it. And it’s my damn privilege to do so. Your body is so beautiful, resting or flexed. Muscular or not. Big or small. You deserve to be comfortable in your own skin. Society and social media is always going to try and skew your perceptions and point of view in the wrong direction. It’s our duty to continuously remind ourselves that we are beautiful, wonderful and worthy. Because we really are. I will continue to encourage you to preach to yourself, because I preach to my damn self every single day. Self love isn’t easy, it takes effort. But it’s work that pays off, and it becomes more effortless every single day. I love you, my warriors ❤ And your body is B-E-A-UUUUUTIFUL. #selflove #edwarrior #edsoldier #edrecovery #effyourbeautystandards
Milly Smith is a self-described “Depression, BDD, Endo and EDD warrior and positivity spreader”.
Her account is the perfect antidote to all those “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” meme accounts.
I’m me, you’re you; we are one of a kind and that’s pretty awesome. Instead of an hourglass, an apple or a pear let’s be powerful, bad ass and determined. Labelling a body type, for me personally, encourages the need to look/dress a certain way. You are body type YOU. Don’t let anyone take away your individuality ????????♂️????????
Have you got any to add to the list?