It is hard enough with all the perfect media images of women out there and we are making it worse by presenting ourselves as perfect on social media. On one hand, we want to present our best selves, but on the other hand how does taking 3000 photos to get the right angle make sense? We do it because we have been taught to judge and compare each other, instead of supporting and caring for one another.
The other day I posted a photo of myself and a girlfriend on our boat, in bathing suits. Why did I do it? I did it because I love the photo of us, we hardly have any photos together and because it was a great day to remember. I'm four months postpartum and I am proud of what my body has gone through and I am happy with how I look (most days!). Once I posted the photo, I got messages and comments from friends telling me how great I looked for having just had a baby (I am guilty of doing this to other friends as well) and another person commented on how white I looked. Regardless of whether the comments were positive or not, this reminds me that we are constantly comparing and judging other women. We value the way women look so much and expect them to get back in to shape right after having a baby but also secretly wish that they do not. Why is that? Perhaps, subconsciously I posted the photo to show everyone I'm doing well, or maybe I just really loved the photo of my friend and I. Maybe both.
We need to stop being so concerned with ripping apart and scrutinizing other women's bodies. Instead we need to celebrate our bodies and support the different variations of them. We need to be honest about the way we look and stop judging other women when they are being honest with their bodies. It's harder to do, than said. When we were at the beach, I saw a variety of body types and my natural reaction was to observe, survey and judge them. I tried to not to be negative, to turn off the rose coloured glasses that I have been taught by the media, to wear. Instead of thinking, "why is she wearing that," I was dreaming about photographing these lovely ladies (see The Book page for more info!) to show the world that difference needs to be embraced. We need to show young women that every body type is acceptable.
This is why facebook makes it difficult to overcoming the odds set by the media. We survey, we view, we judge others. We know we judge others so we start to self survey and present ourselves a certain way, to avoid being negatively judged ourselves. By doing this we create lies, just like the media. And then we hurt each other, instead of building each other up. This is what we need to do, this is what we need to change. The solution is to be yourself and not worry about what other people think. This is easier said than done but we need to try.
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