Checking Instagram on the daily has become part of most of our regular routines. We scroll through our Instagram feed first thing in the morning, we have a sneaky check during the lull in the work day and a quick scroll before going to sleep. Around the world 600 million other active users are doing this as well.
It’s a good way to see what your friends are up to or look at places you wish you’d rather be, but how often do you end up falling down a rabbit hole of beauty bloggers and fitness models? How often do you find yourself wishing your body looked like that? If you ever find yourself feeling this way maybe it’s time to embrace the self love movement on Instagram.
‘Self love’ and ‘body positive’ blogs are nothing new, but the amount of people partaking in this movement has been increasing at an alarming rate. Just by looking up the hashtag “self love” or “body positive” you can see images upon images of woman accepting and showing off parts of their body that are not often shown in the mainstream media.
Your fat rolls are beautiful🙌 ⬆️I made a video about them (link in my bio)⬆️ And the reason we have been lead to believe they aren’t is because we don’t see them in the media unless someone’s being shamed for weight gain or ridiculed for their body. This is NOT the truth and not OK. Having rolls of skin / fat that are soft / squidgy or big / small does not define your beauty. I wanted to show you how my body looks when I’m relaxed and when I’m posing right next to each other so you can see how easy it is to manipulate how a body looks. (I filmed myself doing this for you on my YouTube) As a model in the industry 13years I’ve seen nearly all the pics chosen of me for lingerie & swimwear shoots are the ones where my stomach looks flattest. Which for a long time lead me to believe that’s how I should look. Because even if I did happen to have a few shots where I’m in a position you can see back fat or rolls someone had decided it’s more “beautiful” “aspirational” or will inspire more customers to buy the product if those so called “flaws” don’t exist. But things are changing I remember the first time I saw curvier models in editorials with their rolls and back fat and I remember the first time I shot with @aerie and they wanted me to not pose but be real and just myself. Then when I saw my first campaign with them and I could see my unretouched body – pics with rolls / back fat I’m not gonna lie I was shocked. That quickly turned into joy because they made me feel good enough and knew that those “flaws” didn’t mean I wasn’t beautiful in fact showing that their models didn’t have to be “flawless” was incredibly empowering. So thank you #AerieReal and everyone who created the movement it’s not just game changing but life changing ILY😘 And that’s why when I started my insta about 3years ago I created the #everyBODYisbeautiful bc we are more than the sum of our perfections we are all beautiful equal souls living in imperfectly perfect bodies.
“Embrace the squish” is one of these hashtags created by fitness blogger Kirsty Baines, it encourages women to stop being unhappy with your body and that it’s okay to have parts on you that squish or jiggle, because everyone does regardless of their size.
The self love movement encourages women to have a healthier mind and body; work out and eat healthy, but don’t push yourself further than you need to, restrict your calories, or beat yourself up for eating a burger. It’s the promotion of a healthy mind, healthy body.
Browsing these hashtags and following Instagram accounts can help put things into perspective; nobody is perfect, nobody is happy all of the time, people have scars and stretchmarks and that’s okay.
On the left is me 2 1/2 years ago, just before I found body positivity, and on the right is me today. You’ll probably notice the most obvious thing I’ve gained between these two pictures: weight. But there are so many other things I’ve gained as well. I’ve gained mental freedom. I’ve gained self love. I’ve gained my life back after so many years of believing that I wasn’t worthy of living it because of how my body looked. I know the world wants you to believe that the less you weigh the happier you’ll be. I know I’m supposed to feel ashamed of this transformation. I’m supposed to vow to lose the weight, I’m supposed to spend my life chasing the body on the left and buying into the idea that I’ll be more valuable once I get there. But I’m not going to do that. Instead I’m going to tell you what I learnt from all those wasted years chasing washboard abs and dropping numbers on the scale: happiness is not a size. Weight loss does not cure self hatred. Mental health matters more than a dress size does. And we are all so worthy of self love exactly as we are. It’s time we took a stand and refused to keep hurting ourselves in the pursuit of a ‘perfect’ body that doesn’t even exist. It’s time for us to realise that we’re already good enough. It’s time for us to take our power back. 💜💙💚🌈🌞
So join the self love community and remember that it’s okay to love yourself and your body just the way that it is, and create an Instagram feed that makes you smile.
Image Credits: Instagram @iskra