HomeActionSaturday Report: Want to Feel Better About Ourselves? Try Ignoring 'Beauty' Posts...

Saturday Report: Want to Feel Better About Ourselves? Try Ignoring ‘Beauty’ Posts on Social Media 

Why The Latest Advertising Campaign by a Top-Selling Brand is Showing us How to do so!

Have you been seeing an advert on TV as of lately, it’s by a well-known soap brand and it’s in conjunction with a charity about positive attitudes, especially towards younger people? It starts with a young woman looking at a selfie of herself on her smartphone and as she’s looking from different angles she gradually starts undoing all the filter work and the image gradually changes, or in this case reverts, back into a young girl.

The campaign is part of the brand’s self-esteem project. Reportedly, 80% of girls in their early teens will alter how they look on their social media posts just to make themselves look nicer

When I first saw the advert campaign I didn’t quite grasp what it was that was going on but as I eventually realized what it was all about I just thought ‘good on them, about time this actually happened. 

Looking at the heart of the message that was being sent out was something that I was all too familiar with, and in some ways still affects me, though hopefully not as much as it did do many years earlier. I am of course referring back to a time when I was more image-conscious rather than being conscious of my own self-esteem which was obviously the real issue.

One of the triggers for this was whenever I looked at images of males on social media, particularly ones which closely resembled those that were presented to us on American and Australian TV shows. Pert bum, ripped abs, the perfectly pronounced pecs, and what might as well have been the ridiculously skinny waist, so skinny you’re amazed that half their bodily organs are still functioning.

Like so many other people, I grew up with the so-called messages, or teachings, that gave us these examples of what it was that was seen and accepted as ‘beautiful, sexy, gorgeous’ or the ‘ideal body’. In a subconscious way, it can be viewed as ‘this is the body to go for if you want to be glamorous and perfect’.

Unfortunately, this is where social media does have to hold its hands up and admit its share of the problems, and that includes some of the companies that use it. 

Now I myself have been on social media for a good number of years now and whenever I come across posts by cosmetics or accessory brands they always use ‘attractive men and women’ for their photos. I have yet to see an image of a chubby male or female, and it’s some way it’s almost though we’re being told by these companies that if you want to look good in our merchandise you’ve got to be a certain body shape.

Another thing that I will admit to is that even I do look at images of toned men on Instagram and click the Like/Heart button so I also hold my hand up and admit that I, in some way, am as guilty as charged. But, however, when I look at these images of these so-called sexy men and women I don’t look at them and wish that I was exactly like them.

My reason for this is? In some ways, I have accepted my body and made peace with the belief that not everyone views having a 6-pack as a definite sign of being attractive. I mean look at former Love Island contestant Jack Fincham, even though he was a bit chubby quite a lot of people still viewed him as attractive. He even got quite a lot of positive comments on social media.

And yes, I am aware that he’s got himself ripped now, but the fact that he was viewed as ‘attractive’ before then does actually show something. 

This is something that I find to be both a positive and extraordinary because here you had a group of young, ripped men, and amongst them, you got someone who wasn’t exactly a competitor for Men’s Fitness front cover yet people still viewed him as attractive. 

Ironically I looked at him and just thought that if someone like him can still be considered ‘gorgeous’ and not look like someone from a typical Instagram post then that can only be a positive thing for others on the ‘lesser attractive’ scale.

I, for one, hope that this leads to a gradual change in the way we both view ourselves and each other.

Like I said earlier, I still look in the mirror and see that even though I’m not ripped I am comfortable with the probability that I may never achieve six-pack status. Some of this is also down to some of the posts I’ve seen on social media. For example, last month I came across a few posts of shirtless men who, even though they weren’t cover model material, received many positive comments. Somewhere from females saying how hot they were. Its posts like that contributed to my increase in self-esteem. 

If some of these blokes can be viewed as ‘attractive’ and not have ripped bodies, then surely I can feel more at one with my own.

It means that we so-called ‘unattractive chubbsters’ can finally look at ourselves and think ‘damm, I look good’ without having to transform ourselves through constant filtering.

Not only does it do wonders for our mental health but also our well-being and physical health. It finally means that we can hopefully stress less about turning ourselves into these fantasized images of what is considered to be attractive and be happy about how we look and feel about ourselves without tweaking posts of ourselves to within an inch of their life. 

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