A couple of days ago, I was watching TV when a story came up about a model experiencing body shaming. Her name is Nina Agdal, and if you want details on what exactly happened you can read about it here. The basic gist of the situation is that she was denied a spot on a magazine cover because the editors thought her body needed work and that she couldn’t fit into sample sizes. Just a quick scroll through her Instagram shows that she by no means should be told to lose any weight, and that the magazine’s alleged comments are severely unwarranted.
The body positivity movement has been growing pretty quickly recently, but not enough progress has been made yet. I understand the goal of designers and magazines is to make product look appealing, but why does that mean we need to only use some arbitrary definition of perfection? I know that I personally would be more likely to buy something if I saw it on a wide variety of body types, so I could get a picture of how it might look on me. Throughout my life I’ve always tried to tell myself that I was immune to the pressures of only ever seeing size 2 women in the media. I wanted to believe that I was confident enough not to pay attention to how different I was from those women, but as I get older I realize that it does affect me.
Regardless of whether you’re a size 00 or a size 24, we are all prone to wishing we looked different and thinking that we are something other than the “ideal”. Lately, I’ve been trying to make changes in my own personal life to try and get rid of those pressures and embrace the way I look. Following body positive Instagram accounts is something that makes a big difference to me. Seeing gorgeous women of all shapes, sizes, and colors helps change my way of thinking from “I wish I looked like that” to “look how amazing she looks, I bet I look great too”.
While the modeling industry is clearly not entirely ready to change, that doesn’t mean we can’t change on our own. If more women start embracing the way they look, however that may be, then maybe society will follow. The same goes for men as well! While this is prominently talked about as an issue for women, men also feel a lot of pressure to be tall, muscular, and generally unrealistic. The rise in enthusiasm for the “dad bod” is part of the body positivity movement too! No matter your gender, size, any of that, we all have the right to be celebrated and to love ourselves.
I hope this post can inspire someone to take some steps to embrace themselves the way they are. It’s not easy, and it’s something I and many other people struggle with every day. But even making a little change can make a difference. If you need somewhere to start, check out bodyposipanda on Instagram!