Body image and social media

I'm genuinely overwhelmed by the popularity of individuals on social media sites promoting body image positivity.

It's everywhere! On the surface this appears to be a wonderful idea. I believe that we as a species have this terrible built in system that makes us focus on the negative aspects of our appearance, many of which don't really exist at all!

How many people have you known that seem to have it all? Beautiful looks, nice home, steady job? Yet these are often the same individuals that think they're fat or ugly. They never seem to be happy. So much so that they can get on your nerves.

I had many female friends in my partying days that I'd definitely put in this category. I'd be lying in a puddle of alcohol and degredation, my belly hanging out draped over the floor and they'd come and tell me that they're too fat to get a boyfriend! Utterly shambolic and genuinely insulting. Could they not see that my own self loathing had led me to such a state of self mutilation?

I don't believe they ever meant to cause offence. People genuinely despise themselves even when they seem very attractive to others. We all have some unobtainable ideal in mind but if we were to achieve such ideals we still wouldn't be happy - we'd still want more!

With this in mind people have taken to promotion of body positivity. Plus sized models are being celebrated, there's always a rush to condemn any individuals that joke about celebrities 'looking fat’. This all looks great but it's really just another sign of us all trying to be desperately liberal when prejudice will always exist, even if it's not expressed publicly. The people praising the larger individual on television or the kid with the skin condition, or indeed the cast of the undateables will still spend hours at home in the mirror worrying about the size of their nose.

It's hypocritical! Yet the biggest hypocrits in my view are the endless characters that can be observed on Instagram. Girls who aren't really fat promoting their 'non-conventional' looks. They claim to be promoting body image positivity when all they're doing is turning themselves into objects for creepy guys to drool over in an attempt to make themselves feel better about their own issues. Living for praise they're no better than supermodels. It shouldn't be necessary to take all your clothes off to promote body positivity. Surely all your doing by providing such shameless self promotion is fishing for praise from strangers.

Genuinely feeling confident is ever so powerful but it's hard to achieve. It requires you to feel proud of yourself for yourself, not for a load of complete strangers. Be positive by holding your head up high, realising you only live once and trying to make the most of your existence. Anyone who tries to shame you on the way is jealous or weak. Any interjections from individuals like that should be laughed at and a testament to the fact you are achieving something.

Ben Savin