I have a love/hate relationship with the internet, social media, and pretty much anything on TV. I have struggled, still struggle with my appearance. At moments I think I’m a pretty girl, other times I think I look tired and like I’m starting to show my measly 35 years. As you know, I lift weights, and do things to stay fit – but when I look at my body in the mirror I still see the body that had three kids back-to-back-to-back. Add in breastfeeding all three, and one of them for about 20 months and…well I’m sure I’m painting a pretty picture, right?
Enter in social media. I see these “20 minute work-outs” you can do at home on my Pinterest wall, and do you know what picture they use? The super-toned, zero percent body fat chick with a 6 pack. You turn on the TV to watch a new show, and all the ladies have a nice trim waist and they are all attractive, and I’m not even going to address commercials. Even book covers are guilty of this; you’ve got the beautiful girl with long flowing hair that is perfectly placed, usually paired up with a handsome fellow, and they are smiling into each other’s eyes.
I do believe these things are a major part in making us ladies feel inferior and insecure. I know for absolute sure I’m not alone in this because I hear ladies talk about it at work or at church; I see posts about how frumpy ladies feel, or how they are fed up with their baby fat and are going to start eating 500 calories a day.
I think I had reached a low point when I started to look around, really look around at other ladies in my every day life. Do you know what I noticed? I noticed that not everyone looks like they do on TV (DUH, and of course I knew that, but I think I had to realize it), but that didn’t mean that they weren’t beautiful. I know ladies who are overweight, obese even, and while I do think it is important to recognize when our bodies are sick and we need to do something about it (exercise, eat healthier, etc.), I also realized when I talk to these ladies never once did I think they were anything but beautiful. If I had to guess, I would say that they probably felt the same about me.
So why is it that we feel like we have to look like we should pinned on someone’s Pinterest board? Well, let’s take a look at that.
The aforementioned Pinterest ad: its purpose is to motivate you to get moving, but there is a secondary purpose of convincing you that the advertised workout really works. (there is NO way that the girl in the attached photo got that fit by doing just those exercises every day. No way. In fact, she’s probably kind of that fit, but mostly photo-shopped.)
The Commercials: the concept is usually similar. If it’s selling beer or something of the sort, it’s just to catch a male’s attention, but if it’s for shampoo or makeup, it’s to convince you that somehow using these products will transform us into these photoshopped prototypes.
So in the end it all comes down to marketing. Every single thing, TV shows included, are all about marketing.
What I want to stress to you is this: If you truly are not happy in your skin, evaluate why? Is it because you are over weight? Then I do encourage you to make changes, eat healthy; but realize this: these pictures of 6-pack abs, while I’ve seen it happen, usually these people are in single digit body fat levels. Being over weight isn’t healthy, being that low in bodyfat percentages for long periods of time is not healthy either. Also, I caution you from anything that guarantees a ton of weight loss in 2 week or a month. Good healthy weight loss is a gradual thing. It takes time and effort to do it properly. Gimmick diets, pills and wraps are just that. They might work for a little while, but unless you make a lifestyle change, you will end up right back where you started.