Social media's dark side
If its not some half naked person in a gym, it’s some tanned goddess like model posing on a balcony in the Bahamas. In today's world we are continuously bombarded with these types of images. If they aren’t in a magazine they are sprawled across our Facebook and Instagram feed. This may be great for companies trying to sell products as it grabs our attention but not so great for our body image. 9 times out of 10 people think “why do they look like that and I don’t?" The simple fact these images are sometimes heavily edited to make the model in question look slimmer, leaner and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye doesn’t cross everyone’s mind. They take these images at face value instantly making judgement, usually resulting in negative body image.
Negative body image can have a knock-on affect on everyday lives, from anxiety issues, to low self-confidence. People who have body image concerns feel worried, distressed and unhappy about their appearance, weight or shape. They may be concerned about being too large, too small, not curvy enough, or not muscular enough. I believe it’s time to stop changing the way we act and change the way we think. By doing this we can aim to battle these negative thoughts and in fact turn them into something positive.
A fantastic tip would be to use social media to inspire and NOT to compare. Don’t scroll through Instagram wondering why you don’t look like a fitness model or why you can’t bench press 200kg. Instead use the images as motivation and inspiration to help you get to where you want to go. Understand these images and videos as what they really are, someone achieving their goal, someone showing off what they are capable of lifting or someone who now has the confidence to show their body who may have struggled with negative body image in the past. These people aren’t you, so don’t act like it never can be! Everyone is at different stages on their own journey. The images don’t show how hard they have had to work to get to that point. It doesn’t show the hours of training or the months of dieting. This is an image of the finished result. Use it to fuel your desire to continue on your own journey and to be the best version of yourself you can be.
There’s more to life than likes on an Instagram post. Don’t let this feed directly into your sense of self worth. Getting hung up on meaningless worries will only grind you down, stay positive and remember, whatever is trying to bring you down, is already below you.