People should ignore harmful body image standards, embrace self-love

Body image is an increasingly prevalent issue, especially with the expansive use of social media. Models on Instagram portray a supposedly “picture-perfect” figure and Facebook advertisements depict weight-loss supplements for a “summer body,” but none of these portrayals come anywhere close to an accurate depiction of the average human. 

With a greater number of users on social media as well as the negative, preconceived notion of the “perfect body,” people are unfortunately becoming increasingly wary of their body image.

People tend to believe that body image is most strongly dependent on physical appearance; this assumption is completely false. One’s body image links to factors of emotional and mental health, in addition to a physical reflection, according to Psychology Today. 

Anyone can agree that as they pass by a mirror, they may need to stop in their tracks and stare at their reflection. One of the most significant commonalities that all people share is what they say as they look in the mirror and examine their image: “Ugh, I definitely need to hit the gym more,” “Where did my abs go? I really shouldn’t have had all of those French fries last night.”

Usually, what no one says is, “I like my shirt,” “My mascara looks really good today” or “I’m feeling good today.” 

On the rare occasion, a person might actually look into the mirror and feel satisfied with all three components: mental, physical and emotional well-being. 

People generally tend to feel unconfident with their presentation, and much of this negativity originates from previous judgement, according to U.S. News and World Report

The cliquey mean girls in middle school who collectively commented on the size of a girl’s nose, the immature boys in high school who rudely commented on a friend’s attire; each of these is subconsciously engraved in a person’s mind even years later, whether or not someone wants to admit it. 

A research study was conducted to test the effects of social media on an individual’s self-perception. Results showed that the female undergraduate participants felt worse after looking at the social media page of a person who they considered to be more attractive than them. In some cases, women who had already felt self-conscious recorded feeling even more aware of their presentation, according to Medical News Today.

Society has constructed such a negative standard of beauty that can be both essentially impossible to accomplish and also extremely unhealthy. This standard predominantly focuses on physical appearance, rather than the overall image of a person. 

Somehow, people have lost sight of personality and the general qualities a person possesses. 

This terrible, degrading construct leads to more people who become increasingly self-conscious as well as to people who may develop eating disorders. There needs to be some way for an individual to feel better about themselves: self-love. 

Every individual on this planet should practice self-love. Self-love leads to self-healing, which can lead to more positivity. 

Self-love revolves around an individual, feeding themselves positive thoughts. While one can’t overcome their insecurities overnight, baby steps are necessary to achieve the ultimate confidence, according to Psychology Today.

Put goofy stickers on a bathroom wall; put inspirational and confidence-building quotes around a bedroom; download an application that will send happy, inspirational messages every day. 

There are a million ways that the average human can build up their confidence to not only exemplify how ridiculous society’s beauty standards have become, but to also demonstrate how important self-love is in the real world.