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5 Reasons Why Your Perception Of The ‘Perfect Body’ Is Totally F**ked

Hey, guess what? The idea that there is one “perfect body” that every woman should strive for is a complete and total lie. That body doesn’t exist, and it never did. There are bodies of all sizes and shapes, and all of them are wonderful in their own way. They house our organs and bring us physical pleasure. But so many of us aren’t happy with our bodies, and part of the reason why is the images we consume every day.

How many times have you opened a magazine and envied a model or celebrity who you think looks amazing? How often do you scroll through your Instagram feed and compare your body to somebody else’s? Your perception is being manipulated, influenced by things you may not even be consciously aware of, like lighting, photo retouching, and plastic surgery. And it’s important to realize this, lest you start to think what you’re seeing is real.

Casually flashing some innocent beach goers ? @marceauphotography

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It’s high time we stop looking at what we see on TV and in movies and magazines and thinking that the bodies shown there represent “perfection.” Let’s look at some of the ways that our reality is being skewed.

5. Photoshop

Almost every single picture you see in a magazine has been retouched. After over 25 years of life with Photoshop, we hardly even notice anymore. Make-up free photos of celebrities go viral because of just how rare they are. Photoshop is used to remove cellulite and shadows, blur out imperfections, make people’s appendages look thinner and their boobs and butts look bigger. But that doesn’t represent reality and we need to remember that when we see these pictures.

In an interview with DW in 2015, German media scholar Thomas Knieper explained, “The entire fashion industry is ethically highly problematic. By stretching the legs of stars, shrinking their waists and removing their wrinkles and skin blemishes, people admire them even more and try to emulate them.” Knieper went on to say that studies show that people who are often exposed to heavily edited pictures start to believe that what they see is the norm.

FEAR THE PHOTOSHOPPED PHOTO! How many times have you looked at a photo of yourself and thought negatively about it? How many times have you compared yourself to the models in the magazine, or more likely, the 'models' on instagram and social media and thought 'nope I don't look like that'? ? How many times have you been tempted to add a filter, tweak the cellulite, remove the blemish, maximize the booty, in order to portray a more 'socially acceptable' version of yourself to the world? Because you feel you aren't 'enough' as you are. ? Subconsciously we are primed to find certain body types more acceptable. This can be very subtle changes to photographs seen on a daily basis. But these small changes resonate deeply within our minds. Shaping our beliefs about the way we 'should' look, and therefore creates unrealistic comparisons and perpetuates negative self talk which becomes low self esteem. ? Recognizing the signs of a photoshopped image is important for our mental health. Understanding that sometimes what we are looking at is simply a fantastical image created on something designed to suit virtual reality, NOT the real world. ? The good news is. YOU HAVE CONTROL! Don't like someone images because they make you feel shit? You look and think 'why can't that be me, why aren't my legs smooth, my thighs smaller, my butt bigger, my waist skinnier, my arms more defined? I'm disgusting. I'm fat. I'm gross'…UNFOLLOW!!!!! ? I have been victim to this myself. I unfollowed a lot of women (no offense) because it was damaging my self esteem. I didn't look and feel motivated, I felt devalued and defective. I only follow people who remind me to stay REAL with myself and with the world. Yes I'll add a filter sometimes, I love photography. But I'll NEVER adjust my body through an app and post it as a real image. That's adding fuel to an already all consuming fire. ? Take your control. Don't fear your unfiltered self ? #keepingitreal #dedicated #bodytransformation #transformationtuesday #strongnotskinny #bbg #bodygoals #fitness #inspo #kaylaitsines #progressnotperfection #muscle #training #girlswholift #fitspo

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4. Cosmetic procedures

With plastic surgery becoming more and more common, there’s always a chance that the body you’re comparing yours to has been enhanced by procedures like liposuction and implants. One of the reasons for this is — you guessed it — social media.

Speaking to Allure in January, Phillip R. Langsdon, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon and president-elect of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) explained the phenomenon: “Being on these platforms basically forces patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and this could truly cause one to be more self-critical than ever before.”

In 2016, CBS News reported that butt implants and lifts were the fastest growing types of plastic surgery in the US, based on data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). So that butt that looks like the peach emoji? That might just have been bought.

3. Instagram

Sure, Instagram can be fun, but it can also be the enemy. The photo-sharing app’s built-in filters allow us to change pictures with just the press of a button. Adjusting things like contrast on a photo can drastically transform the way the subject of that photo looks. We know that, but we still allow it to make us feel bad about our own bodies in comparison.

According to a recent survey of almost 1,500 teens and young adults, Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing. Time reported that one of the respondents in the survey wrote, “Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect’.” Sound like something you could maybe relate to?

2. Fitness models

Along with Instagram came the rise of Instagram fitness models. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with fitness (other than that it’s hard), but it’s easy to get down on yourself when you see what looks, to you, like the “perfect body.” That’s why it’s so important to remember that things like camera angle, lighting, and posture can make all the difference with those photos.

Even the fittest person will have rolls on their stomach when they sit down. And they will bloat after eating a big meal. It’s just part of the human condition.

About 3 times a week, I am thinking about shutting this account down. The reason is that I have a very hard time navigating the online world. There’s all kinds of negativity thrown my way that I am not able to handle without getting down on myself constantly. I get crap from fitness people about not promoting a “clean eating” lifestyle. I get crap from people because I eat meat. I get crap from people for saying I stand for body positivity because my body “doesn’t belong in the body positive space”. I get crap from people for talking about overeating and binging as a normal part in eating disorder recovery. I get crap from people that look for something in my pictures and captions to get upset about. I get crap from people for “having it easy” because my recovered body is still “acceptable” (why is the term “acceptable body” even a thing…). . . . I wanted to create this account to help someone out there who is struggling with food and their body image. I post pictures like the above to show you that my body looks NOTHING like it does on the left when you see me in real life. I share my thoughts hoping they resonate with one person and maybe make their day a little brighter. And I will continue to do all of this, despite wanting to say screw it more often than you think. . . . I had to get this off my chest today, because I always want to be honest with you. Thank you so much for continuously supporting me and lifting me up with your kind words, I appreciate you so much ❤️ . . . _______________________________________ #realtalk #edrecovery #bodyacceptance #bodyimage #fitness #health #eatingdisorderrecovery #recoveryisworthit #selflove #selflovewarrior #allblackoutfit #believeinyourself #everybodyisbeatiful #balancedlife

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1. The “ideal” body isn’t constant

The media’s concept of the “perfect body” isn’t static — it changes over the years. The body shape of the ideal woman changes just as fashions and pop culture change. Some years curvy is in, others, it’s the waif. Remember Kate Moss’ heroin chic look or Twiggy’s ultra-thin figure? Now compare that to the full bodies of the women painted in the Italian Rennaissance, the hourglass figure of the 1950s, or the big breasts and booty looks of today. There is no one real “perfect body,” it’s all subject to the whims of the times, the fashion industry, and the media.

So why not learn to love your body just as it is? Sure, that may be easier said than done for people who struggle with self-image, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to try. Your body loves you, you just need to love it back.