Body Positive: Social Media as a Healer of our Insecurities, not a Feeder
How social media and the women on it are tearing down the so-called ‘beauty standards’ that have shamed us for so long.
By Sadie Bargeron
In a world so restricted by what society has historically labelled as beautiful, it takes pure courage to subvert traditional aesthetics and realise that beauty is linked to attractiveness and everyone owns an asset that someone else would find attractive; this is what so many social media queens are embracing and encouraging. It is 2017, women are at the most free they have ever been (believe it or not) and there are women using this factor to liberate themselves from the beauty ideals which seem to suffocate us daily.
It is so positively refreshing to praise social media, as something the majority of us use constantly, because it is always slated for causing various insecurities. Without a doubt, women are pressurised daily to aesthetically be a certain way; you just only have to look at Barbie to realise the expectation taught from a young age, and using makeup to cover blemishes was even a trend amongst the Ancient Egyptians. But there are more and more women today who are unapologetically posing, without suppressing themselves to adhere to the dictated beauty norms; they are confidently flaunting body hair, tummy rolls and stretch marks.There is a real bold charm in being so open and comfortable in a natural female body, and it is a gorgeous bandwagon that so many people are jumping on.
Today, the new trend is to be happy and comfortable with the unique biology that is your body, and appreciate the fact that you are an imitable creation. The first female who caught my eye in her striking confidence, to flaunt herself in a realistic light, was Emily Bador. A woman I knew as a flawless Asos model has taken to Instagram to promote body confidence and happiness; her soft tummy photos, accompanied by body hair and stretch marks have attracted thousands of followers in her sexy self-confidence. Emily’s followers still comment on her beauty, which only proves the refreshing ability Instagram has on forming beauty ideals or rather, escaping them.
In her first ‘unconventionally’ beautiful post, Emily says that she hadn’t had the guts to post it but in doing so, her followers were astounded, stating things like ‘people like you can change the world’; it takes so much courage to destabilise historical norms but it subsequently encourages others to do the same. Although Emily was the first that caught my eye, I have noticed more and more social media queens subverting traditional standards and portraying that modern beauty is self-love and acceptance of unique features.
It does not need to be seen as negative that women are parading social media in less clothes than ever before, because in this instance it is extremely empowering. It is so unhealthy for us women to be constantly told in the media to wear makeup and to look like airbrushed celebrities, this makes the voyage to perfect beauty full of dissatisfaction and frustration. But a huge unapologetic wave has hit social media and it shows all signs of growing. These social media mavens are teaching their increasing number of followers to enjoy their individuality and not feel ashamed of the body they were born in. Here are just some of the lovely people helping us to accept ourselves for who we are and not for the conditioned way we are taught to be:
Erika Lipps @erikalipps The beautifully doe-eyed plus size style icon, has made her mark on Instagram and embraced her figure through hundreds of stunning posts. She has redefined beauty, destroying the notion that skinny is the only desirable physique. Although Erika has confessed to having confidence issues herself, portraying how social media can portray a certain perception of self, she still unapologetically poses and presents how conventional beauty standards are becoming old fashioned.
Monica Hernandez @monicagh She is exceptionally stunning, yet displays herself on social media with seemingly no concealment. Monica happily dances parading her body hair and posts beautiful swimsuit shots showing no signs of a ‘socially acceptable’ bikini wax. Her Instagram account is so refreshing in its realness, she even posted a close-up of her teeth commenting on her dental work, absolutely subverting the Instagram fashion of being perfect to be beautiful.
Yasmin Moon @yasminmoonmoon A certified glamazon. Yasmin is a plus size model who embraces her ample, tall physique without adhering to society’s conventions. Her look is one bang on trend, a curvaceous queen that is proving how stunning women are when they accept themselves in all their glory. Yasmin’s poses appear natural and without Photoshop, yet entirely striking in their beauty.
Lee Armoogam @leemoonflower A fabulous, artistic individual who is taking to Instagram to present a liberated female form. She exposes body hair and smiles enthusiastically, portraying an embodiment of modern female beauty; one that is comfortable with exposing themselves as they are without apologising for anything at all.
These accounts are those which have caught my eye in the past few months, yet the number is definitely larger than this and the trend keeps thriving. Beauty is being redefined in the most aesthetically pleasing way, a way in which females are escaping cultural boundaries and inviting each other to simply own their differences, and enjoy them.