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Body Honesty: The New Social Media Trend That Deserves A Billion Likes

April 28, 2015 3 min read

Our social media feeds often seem dominated by "perfect" women. A quick stroll through Instagram reveals any number of slender, toned, large breasted, thigh gapping (okay, I know that isn't a word), 'dream' women. This steady stream of perfection isn't quite as steady these days. Popping up in between these photos are a bunch of perfect women showing that they don't need blemish touch ups, filters, Photoshop, or fancy lighting. They are imperfect and that, in itself is perfect.

 

Model Chrissy Teigen posted a photo of her real life thighs, complete with bruises from kitchen drawers and stretch marks!

Have a look:

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Women around the globe are sharing their photos with the hashtags #LoveYourLines and #TakeBackPostpartum. In March, a vacation photo of blogger Rachel Hollis went viral with this inspiring caption: "I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. I have a belly that's permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy... (which is something I didn't even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I'm proud of this body and every mark on it. Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could. I wear a bikini because the only man who's opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. That same man says he's never seen anything sexier than my body, marks and all. They aren't scars ladies, they're stripes and you've earned them. Flaunt that body with pride!"

[bctt tweet="Body Honesty: The New Social Media Trend That Deserves A Billion Likes"]

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Behavioral psychologist Ivanka Prichard, Ph.D. believes these to be very positive trends. Prichard is an Australian researcher who is currently studying how fitspiration images may actually discourage women from exercising by inviting unrealistic comparisons and ideals. Of that, she says:

These trends in body honesty display the body in a natural way and highlight how functional the body can be. The female body is amazing and should be valued for so much more than just its appearance. Aiming to promote positive body image through these trends could help women around the world appreciate their bodies more. Being able to value, respect, love, and accept your body is linked to greater confidence, happiness, and participation in health behaviors.

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Social media star and fitness expert, Cassey Ho posted a video to her Youtube channel encouraging women to start respecting and appreciating women's bodies as they are. The video called "The 'Perfect' Body," sees Ho reading REAL comments people have made about her body. She then Photoshops her mirror image to suit these comments, but appears no happier after attaining 'perfection.' The moral of the story is that achieving a certain ideal isn't going to make you any happier in the end. It is about so much more than that.

"Social media has an amazing potential to spread positive and beneficial messages," says Emma Halliwell, a doctor of philosophy and body-image researcher with the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England. The tricky part, we need to do it ourselves.

Sharing and retweeting posts is still not enough. We all need to be taking more photos of ourselves just as we are. Think about it, what would happen if we all posted images of ourselves as strong, beautiful and natural women? I'm guilty of trying to make myself look my best in the photos I choose to post, but once in awhile, a 'real' one sneaks through. I may not like the picture, but I just shrug it off and say 'well, that's what I look like.' The sky hasn't fallen. The world hasn't opened up and swallowed me whole. Sometimes, we just don't look amazing and there is nothing wrong with that.

Does the thought of posting a not so perfect pic fill you with dread and anxiety?

 

 

Source: Women's Health Magazine

Featured Image: @loseitconkatie
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