A couple of years ago my Instagram feed was full of what I would describe as ‘aspirational content’. I wasn’t following people for their personalities, it was purely about the images they created and I filled my ‘following’ list with the accounts that were recommended to me, the majority of whom all looked eerily similar. Having a feed full of conventionally pretty and skinny girls who spent their days holidaying on beautiful islands in beautiful clothes made me feel extremely negative about myself, and my own life.
I didn’t see my body as womanly, I saw it as doughy and dumpy. I would only order a drink if it was Insta-friendly and I felt a huge pressure to only take (and post) pictures when my hair was styled, my makeup was done and I was wearing all new clothes.
Something changed last year. I decided I wanted my social media accounts to make me feel good about myself, so when I saw an image that made me feel negatively about myself, I unfollowed the account and I actively sought out profiles that filled me with self love, rather than self loathing.
Before soon, my feed stopped looking so similar (and goalzz) and began to look more real. I was seeing a variety of people from across the world, those who weren’t ashamed to show their stretch marks in a bikini, those who made boiler suits look sexy and those who encouraged a slower pace of life, rather than constant consumerism.
A year ago today I would have NEVER shared these images. All I would have been able to see are the differences between my body and that of the typical Insta girl. When you’re completely absorbed in the world of social media, it’s hard to see (and appreciate) anything outside of it. You can convince yourself that what you see online is exactly as it is and you limit your experience to those you follow and interact with. Shattering my Insta bubble is the best thing I’ve ever done, it was like finally taking a deep breath. Having a feed thats rich with variety makes me appreciate all of my quirks just that bit more and it’s widened my idea of what ‘normal’ looks like.
I’ve made peace with my body, and I’ve learnt to love it for everything it does for me and how it keeps me alive. Sure, if my waist was snatched I wouldn’t complain, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the fuller figure I have now. I guess having a feed that makes me feel good has just made me have a more positive perspective on myself. My only focus now is my health and wellbeing, as long as both of those are in check then I’m good.