Over the years I have been a number of different clothes sizes and body shapes as my weight has yoyoed up and down; from a size 8 to a size 18. I’ve been skinny-shamed and fat-shamed. Yet no matter what size I was, how thin or fat I have been I have always wanted to change something. I have never been body confident, which is a really sad fact. It’s for this reason that a Buzzfeed article really struck a cord with me this week – “Perceptions of Perfection Across Borders”.
I know that the media have a lot to blame about making women feel bad about their bodies – no matter what size or shape they are. However I’d never really thought about how the “perfect body” varies in different countries. Take a look below –
This women had her body photoshopped in 18 countries to examine global beauty standards. She asked graphic designers around the world to Photoshop her body to make it more attractive to other citizens in each other their countries. Her goal was to better understand the unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world.
For me it just highlighted how ridiculous the quest for a “perfect body” is. As once you’ve achieved the “perfect body” in one country you’re not perfect in another. It shows the effect the media has in each country in selling us “the perfect body” because after all there are millions of companies around the world that make a lot of money out of women being insecure about their bodies. From slimming pills in the UK and US, bum implants in Latin America to facial reconstruction in Asia. The media doesn’t celebrate our bodies because that doesn’t make any money and isn’t deemed news worthy. It was just the other week that the Daily Mail showed again how much of a hypocrite they are after bullying Khloe Kardashian for years telling us all how fat she is, to now saying that after she has became fit and strong that she’s now too skinny! The media around the world has screwed the mental health of a lot of women and their perception of their body and what is deemed beautiful.
I understand that there is no such thing as the perfect body, but it doesn’t stop me battling body demons everyday. Personally I believe that everyone shouldn’t aim for a body shape or size, they should aim to be healthy and happy. This is something I tell myself often as health is one of the main reasons I changed my lifestyle as I became aware of how unhealthy I had been living for years. I battle daily to switch my focus from “I wish my bum was smaller” “ I wish I was more toned” to “I’m going to reduce my 5K time” or “I’m going to hold a plank for 3 minutes”.
Being healthy or beautiful isn’t and shouldn’t ever be about getting on a scale or fitting into a clothing size. It should be a focus on what matters – how you feel and how you feel about yourself. The focus shouldn’t be on cutting or burning calories it should be about filling our bodies with lots of nutritious food and pushing ourselves to perform better during our workouts. To become fitter, faster and stronger… not a clothing size or body shape… we all deserve to be defined by more than this!
Plus being healthy, strong, fit and fast comes in a number of different body shapes and sizes!