1 February 2015

Body inspiration: An antidote to abs and thigh gaps

This post starts with a confession: as soon as New Years was done and dusted, I headed to Pinterest with the intention of finding myself some body inspiration. Because that's what everyone does, right? The "this year I will get fit, healthy and thin!" mantra we all optimistically chant at the start of the year.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this (other than abandoning our resolutions by February), but there was something wrong with my search results. Because what I saw was this:

1. One body type, over and over again. Are we telling ourselves that there's only one way to look?

2. And most of them were Photoshopped. So, the bodies we're meant to be obtaining are actually unobtainable? Good one.

3. And the before-and-after pictures? They shamed the way people look. And to be honest, I'm not convinced most of them were even the same person!

I feel like the line between 'thin-spiration' and 'health and fitness' are blurring into non-existence. Of course we should all do some exercise and eat healthier (and I'm totally guilty of not doing that). We want to live longer, happier lives where we can take the stairs without turning red and wear bikinis without a care in the world.

But does that mean we all have to aspire to looking the same? No! Even if I did exercise for an hour a day and only ate lean protein and kale, or whatever it is you're meant to eat nowadays, I still wouldn't look like that unless I had a plastic surgeon on speed dial. But that's okay, because every body is different. It's not our fault we don't always remember that though, we really only see a couple of body types presented: 'thin, toned, but actually quite curvy' and 'skinny and waif-like'. Small and petite, tall and statuesque, curvy, athletic - they're all equally as beautiful, right? Let's remember that next time we bitch about our 'fat thighs' or 'flat butt'. The girl with the washboard abs and round, squat-induced butt cheeks has a lovely body, but it's not representing my body.


So I made myself a body inspiration board that represented me instead. I replaced athletic lines for softer silhouettes and taunt abs for hourglass waistlines, and you know what? After staring at this board for a couple of weeks, I feel a lot more self-confident and happier with myself. So thanks Marilyn Monroe, Sofia Loren and Kat Dennings. I also threw in a few of my favourite quotes - Mindy Kaling and her description of fantasising about avenging a fictitious husband's assassination to inspire her to start jogging deserves an honourable mention too.

You can check out my Pinterest body board, but I'd seriously encourage you to make your own! It's worked a treat!

I hope you all have a wonderful February - and I'll see you soon for another post! x
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