How a body should look

Hayley Seymour, Opinion Writer

When you think of the phrase, “body image,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Instantly, I think of insecurity, imperfection and anxiety. In this day and age, it is hard not to feel pressured when the weight of society’s expectations are on your shoulders. Whenever millennials log onto social media, one of the first posts they come across is most likely photoshopped models and celebrities with unrealistic body types.

Personally, opening the accounts to Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter accounts come too easy when all it does is leave me more lonely than before. I have become attached to scrolling mindlessly, filling in gaps of time that could be used for more useful activities such as being with the people I love.  Many have become numb to the way social media has tied us in, capturing us from the most fulfilling and exciting life events.

This past year, Instagram was named the worst social media application for mental health and well being. The photo-based platform has increased levels of depression, loneliness and anxiety for its users. This is partially due to striving for more likes.  It is also partially because women around the world are criticized and ridiculed for their bodies and appearances whether in their daily lives or on social media.

A couple of years ago, an engrossing hashtag named “body goals,” took over the internet.  Quickly, women were drawn to the hashtag that was glorifying specific body types rather than accepting all.  It showed women what they were supposed to look like by the posted picture and what body types people should have.  

Recently, the tables have turned and #bodygoals have turned into something more positive.  Many celebrities such as Ashley Graham, Jennifer Lawrence and Rebel Wilson have helped shift the standard on social media to something more representative of all women and bodies.  All around the globe, women are praising each other for their uniqueness and different body types.  The hashtag has become inspirational for every woman and body type.  

Even to this day, I struggle looking into this daunting mirrored picture of myself, am I good enough, will I ever be?  The models are nothing like what I look like, will this dress look good on me if it looks good on her?  Some people could say unrealistic expectations on social platforms are not a problem.  The sensitivity to this subject on social media is getting better, but it’s still not at the point it should be. 

The next time anyone goes on any social media platform, make sure to uplift and praise others for being themselves and showing confidence.  There should be more sensitivity and less negativity to others and their bodies.  As Ellen Degeneres once said, “To me, beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin.  It’s about knowing, and accepting who you are.”