Twitter and Instagram vs Body Image

Let me start this off by saying the photos I have attached today are not the ones I originally attached. After telling my boyfriend yesterday I would not go to the beach because I was too scared about people seeing my body, I ran into my room 3 minutes ago, threw on a bikini and thought ‘fuck it, if I can post these for the world to see, I can go to the bloody beach’. I want people to see how normal hip dips are and how obviously your body looks different at different angles, I am by no means completely confident yet but I am surely getting there and I hope to help others along the way. We spend most of our lives not posed, we need to love the none posing version of us too. Below is the photos I want to show vs the one I nearly uploaded out of fear.

On average, I’m clocking in at about 8 to 9 hours a day on my phone at the minute. This isn’t a surprise, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and the only other thing to do is to binge watch Parks and Recreation. Luckily for me, I can multi task and am now on season 6. Whenever I mention to people that I struggle with body image, be that talk about eating disorders or just not liking my body on certain days, the first thing people usually say is to cut out social media. In today’s society that’s not as simple as it sounds.

Social media runs our lives, yes, literally runs. We use it for news sources, information on upcoming events, speaking to friends, finding jobs, booking tattoos, using it in our sources, promoting our business, finding restaurant reviews. I could literally write a list as long as my body on everything social media is used for now. Cutting out social media now is like cutting a big chunk out of your life if you’re a very regular user like me, and sometimes the benefits you get from it can out shine the negatives. I use Twitter more than anything, and I follow a great community who is very body positive and help awareness of mental health. I feel comfortable messaging people who I wouldn’t have usually gotten the chance to know, and if it wasn’t for Twitter I would not be correctly informed on today’s current events. I use Twitter for my news more than I do my actual news app. Unfortunately, Twitter is not all high’s.

Recently the amount of fatphobia I have seen on Twitter has made me have an anger I can’t even begin to explain. I follow some inspirational women, one of them gets torn apart every single day by low-lifes on the internet trying to make jokes about her weight or making an attempt to hurt her. For what? Posting a photo of her body. That’s it. This woman has accomplished so much in terms of mental health and body image awareness and has certainly helped me along the way, and every single day someone decides that they just need to let the Twitter world know their disgusting opinions. Why do people feel the need to comment on another’s body in such a terrible way, what on earth will it ever gain you? I’ll tell you why they do it. People point out others’ insecurities to mask their own and make themselves feel better. Learn to fucking improve yourself before you even think about commenting on other people. This is only one example of fatphobia towards another Twitter user. My timeline has been filled with it recently. I have no doubt that anyone seeing their timeline filled with comments like this will start to feel scared to wear certain clothes or show more skin than usual, and I will thank every single person who is trying to abolish this stigma.

My Instagram explore page is filled with thin, white, blonde women. I mainly follow tattoo artists, people who have the same body as me such as Nelly London (it helps me become more confident seeing people promote normal bodies), plus sized and all inclusive fashion brands, mental health advocates and close friends. The explore page is meant to be based on the people you follow or the posts you like, according to Instagram, so why is my explore page not filled with artwork and body’s of all shapes and sizes. I find it difficult logging on to Instagram to see only one type of body promoted, but Instagram is the best place for artwork and promotion of tattoo artists which is something I have a high interest in. It’s hard knowing that even though my Instagram feed does not revolve around just one type of body, there’s only one being promoted to me on my explore page. Even now I still remember scrolling down my timeline to see the promotion of Skinny Coffee, and this was only a few months back.

Social media has come far to try and promote every body type, but to me it isn’t far enough. I still sometimes get it into my mind that weight loss means beauty, and I honestly believe if it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t think like that. We need to stop using weight loss as a compliment, it just reinforces extremely shitty cultural norms. Tell people how amazing their laugh is, or how well they’ve been doing recently or even just let them know how much you love their company. Ask about their life, not the food they put in their mouths. By adopting these principles in real life, maybe we can end promotion of just one body type on social media. The more we realise life is not about the shape or size of your body, the more we can appreciate accomplishments in jobs, relationships, recovery ect.

So, for now I will be staying on social media to hopefully try and help those (and myself) who need more body positivity in their life. And for them really cute duck videos that have been going around lately.

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