Learning to Love the Skin You’re In
Body image is a major factor in today’s increasingly health-conscious world. Since the dawn of omnipresent social media, we’ve been sharing every aspect of our lives not only with our own network of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, but with thousands of complete strangers as well.
Constant attention and connection to the internet has helped bring us closer to people we may not normally have met or kept in touch with. Now more than ever, we consume countless moments of each other’s lives through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other media-based platforms that filter and project pictures often specifically curated to give off a desired image of ourselves.
Whereas some people argue that our internet culture has subdued us, encouraging us to spend many hours at home alone behind a screen instead of out in the real world meeting people, I would conversely argue that in many ways, we’re exposed to each other now more than ever before. Even our most intimate moments like weddings, dates, or trips to the beach are posted online and shared with the world. Thus enters the competition.
For one community especially, body image issues and eating disorders run rampant and go largely unchecked. But why is this? Why should we force ourselves to live under such heightened standards while suffering from the resulting attitudes?
One man spoke out against body shaming in the gay community, and it’s a message we could all follow.
Body-shaming can happen unconsciously, as one man “in a long-term relationship where the gym was virtually a third wheel” realized to his own horror.