What Do We All Think We’ve Got And Then Lose In A Sudden Breakdown? Oh Yeah, Body Confidence!

This post currently has no title. Possibly because I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to say, I just know I’m going to say something. I’m currently feeling relatively happy, sat up in bed (I have been up, I am dressed, I just find my bed is comfy for writing from!), leaning on my two favourite cushions, with only two of my five strings of fairy lights on – quite the record, for me!

I got the inspiration for this post from a mini-meltdown I had this morning. I suspect all girls will know the type, and probably a few boys as well – the body image crisis, the lack of confidence, to put it bluntly – the fear they’ve suddenly become fat. I think most of us probably feel like this at least once every six months, and probably a damn sight more often. This morning, it was my turn. Yippee…

Put briefly, I felt like I’d suddenly gained a lot of weight, I felt fat and unhappy and like I should be doing more exercise and eating less. Part of me knew that that was all complete rubbish, but part of me was freaking out anyway (because y’know, my brain being logical and believing what I knew would just be TOO BORING). I was alone in the house when I was feeling like this, but my mum gave me a ring and talked through it a bit with me, which really helped. One thing she mentioned was the whole impossible-standards-set-by-the-media thing, which I believe I’ve vaguely written about before. And I just had this thought – teenagers these days all know about airbrushing and how unrealistic everything you see in the media is, and although that may not stop us believing it, at least we’re aware it’s going on. But why don’t the people doing it, the supermodel agencies and the magazine editors stop? I know that things these days are much better than a few years ago – only a few days ago, Zendaya (a 19-year-old singer and actress) spoke out about her Photoshopped magazine cover and posted the un-retouched photo. Yay, people are talking about it! But why was it even retouched in the first place? Why can’t we all just stop with the Photoshop and airbrushing already?

I know that in real life, it’s probably not that simple. There’s probably a zillion reasons why magazine editors do it – that’s what’s expected, celebrities feel self conscious, blah blah blah. But wouldn’t it be great if we could get to the point where we could trust that photos in the media were just that – unmanipulated and original? After all, the game’s up, we all know what’s going on, so what’s the point in it anymore?

And another thing (thanks for all this great wisdom and post inspiration, Mum…) – we’re constantly using social media as a tool to evaluate and compare ourselves. Why does that Instagram selfie get more likes than mine? Why don’t I have three billion likes on my Facebook profile picture? Why don’t I have a thousand Twitter followers? But we forget – nobody is going to post an unflattering photo on social media. Why would we? We don’t have to, we can just take another one or at the very least and ten zillion filters, crop the photo, rotate it a bit, use this tool to get rid of a spot, use that tool to make my eyelashes look longer…or, y’know, just pick a flattering photo in the first place. Therefore, the photos we’re constantly trying to match up to and the people we’re worrying have just so much better lives that us aren’t necessarily the real thing, but instead the edited highlights. As my mum put it, “Nobody’s going to post on Facebook about the argument they just had with their mum because they ate two bars of chocolate and are now feeling fat and spotty.” Nope, instead it’ll be a too-good-to-be-true selfie with the Mayfair or Valencia Instagram filter and a hipster quote as the caption or some cringe-inducing “tagging my mains” or “{x} is bae” shoutout. And we’ll all believe that’s what their life is really like, whilst going and sobbing in a corner. So while I 100% understand that awesome feeling when you get a FB like, an Instagram comment or a Twitter retweet, remember it’s not the be-all and end-all. Just as you’re guilty of only posting the most flattering picture, so are other people. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a fact we need to accept and remember. When you start to feel bad about something on social media, take a minute to step back and ask yourself, how accurate a representation of this person’s life is this? I’m friends with people who’s FB profile pic and their real-life self look like different people. It’s flipping confusing when you’re trying to find them on FB in the first place, I can tell you that!

Finally, one last thought: Especially for teenage girls – and this isn’t really something I’d thought about before my mum mentioned it today – a slight increase in your weight or a change in your image isn’t the be-all and end-all of everything, because it may just be you developing a figure. As you get older, you get hips and a bust, you’re gonna look different. It’s to be expected, so don’t freak out about it! I think we all just need to learn to stop worrying about numbers, and start looking in the mirror, at reality (and yes, that’s hard, I know I say it like it’s easy but IT’S SO NOT, I UNDERSTAND).

If you either liked this post or can relate to what I’ve been talking about, I highly suggest you read this post by Sophie, this one by Hannah and this one by Lydia – Hannah’s especially made me think more about appreciating who I am and how I look and making the most of it now!

Another gem from Zendaya:

Just in case someone out there needed to hear it….

A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya) on

Here’s to trying to be a bit more body confident!

Full disclosure: this pic has had an Instagram filter on it. #NoNoFilter

Full disclosure: this pic has had an Instagram filter on it. #NoNoFilter (because I only post the highlights on IG).

How do you deal with body confidence issues? Do you feel the same way as I do about airbrushing? I’d love to know your thoughts, drop them down in the comments!

Thanks for reading my word vomit 🙂

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15 thoughts on “What Do We All Think We’ve Got And Then Lose In A Sudden Breakdown? Oh Yeah, Body Confidence!

  1. Josephine says:

    I love this post so much! Your words are so true and genuine. Body confidence is such an issue which the media has made worse. I know that here in Australia there are some magazines that have a no retouch policy with is SO AWESOME and it has a sticker on every photo that has not been retouched. I believe that retouching is disgusting! It’s posting a photo with false information basically.
    Anyhow, I am passionate about this issue, even though I myself have never experienced it. My heart goes out to all, boys and girls who are self conscious about their bodies. It’s so hard not to be in this world today!

    Like

  2. Elm says:

    This was SO fantastically written. Genuinely. You write so beautifully, you know that?
    I understand what you mean about body confidence – or the times where you DON’T have any. It’s awful. But I think what I – and other people – need to remember is that it’s our body. Beauty is subjective, after all.

    Like

    • An Overthinking Teenager says:

      Thank you Elm, that means so much to know that you like my writing 🙂 (I was reading a ‘things all bloggers relate to’ post earlier today (can’t remember where, might’ve been SophieCliff.com) but it was like, “However many page views you get, you never believe people still want to read your writing”, which is SO DAMN TRUE so hearing that makes me feel awesome, thank you! :D) and YES to it being our body – I was thinking about comparisons earlier, but I just stopped and thought, “Whether you’re bigger or smaller or exactly the same as that other person, it doesn’t matter. It’s not going to change your body”. That’s definitely something I’m going to try and remember more! Thank you for the comment, and I’m really glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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