I'm supposed to look like what?
I have this thought every time I see altered celeb photos or even personal images on social media. It's amazing what you can do with Photoshop. What's really sad is that many people believe these flawless and often unrealistic images are real.
Body honesty is one of my new favorite trends. It's finally killing Photoshop, as women stand up for themselves. It's nice seeing real women who look like real women instead of like Barbie dolls.
Flawless Need Not Apply
I would love to see a single person raise their hand if their body is 100% flawless. No takers? I didn't think so. Take a good look at a celebrity's retouched photo in a magazine and now look at the same person during an interview. Notice all the differences?
While we're busy killing ourselves to eliminate every little flaw, the people we're trying to emulate are equally flawed. They just have photo editors blurring blemishes, shaving off those extra 10 pounds, and smoothing out the cellulite. Of course they look beautiful, but it's not real.
We've been raised in a culture where we think we're supposed to look perfect all the time. If we don't fit the mold, we're made fun of. The new trend shows us that flawless isn't the same as beautiful after all.
Social Media To The Rescue
It takes courage for a woman to post a real image of herself on social media, especially if she's not model thin with no flaws. I know I think about every picture I post: Does this one make me look fat? Is my hair too messy? Where did that arm fat come from? I want to look as good as possible, so I second-guess everything. Social media is finally helping change that.
More and more women, including celebrities, are posting unretouched photos of themselves. Check out Instagram and Twitter. You'll start seeing the body honesty trend in action. It's truly a beautiful thing and one I'm not ashamed to participate in.
Sure, some people are offering up the usual negative comments, but they're being overshadowed by positive, supportive comments. People are coming together and realizing they don't have to hide their flaws any longer. Social media gives everyone the perfect platform to stand up and be heard (or seen, in this case).
Focusing On A Positive Body Image
Ask most women how they feel about their body and they'll give you a list of things they hate. Is there really anything wrong? No. The flaws I hate most are things I've been told I shouldn't like, such as my thighs and tummy.
Is a woman no longer beautiful if she has stretch marks after having a baby? Do your thighs have to have a noticeable gap between them for you to be attractive? These things just mean you're a beautiful, healthy woman. It shows you're living life and not living in a gym 24/7.
Every day I see new rules on how a woman should look. I quit keeping up with it a long time ago. I just don't need that kind of stress in my life.
Body honesty is about focusing on a positive body image for once. It doesn't matter if you have cellulite on your thighs or your tummy's a little jiggly. It's about appreciating your body as is. After all, no one is perfect.
Celebrities Joining In
Celebrities are starting to speak out about Photoshop. Lady Gaga and Kate Winslet were extremely vocal when they found their photos were retouched. They were proud of what they looked like and didn't feel the need to show a false version of themselves.
Women aren't the only ones standing up against Photoshopped images. Brad Pitt wanted his flaws showcased on the cover of W. He still looks great even with the crow's feet.
The bravery of the few has prompted more celebrities join the movement. I was happy to see older celebrities posing nude and nearly nude in magazines to show that beauty isn't a one-size-fits-all deal. They showed off their flaws and looked incredible while doing it.
Photoshop Doesn't Inspire
Photoshopped images don't inspire people to look better. Instead they just feel body shamed. For instance, the fitness inspiration craze--with photos of ultra slim, super sculpted bodies--at most inspires a handful of people to exercise. It makes everyone else feel like they're too flawed to even try.
I've found myself feeling depressed while flipping through a fitness or beauty magazine. I've used the same products the women in the pictures use and done the same exercises. What was wrong with me that I couldn't look like them?
It wasn't my fault. Those women had blemishes and fine lines. They had thighs that touched and abs that weren't perfect. I just didn't know that until I saw them outside of their Photoshopped pictures.
If perfect images don't inspire, why should they be front and center? It's time for something real. Body honesty gives all of us a reprieve from unrealistic expectations.
Changing What Attractive Means
Many women think you need six-pack abs, stick-like legs, flawless skin, and a large chest to look sexy. I say if you're spending that much time on your body, you probably don't have time to notice if anyone is looking.
Thanks to body honesty taking social media by storm, we're finally starting to redefine what really is attractive. Confidence and being comfortable in your own skin is what's truly sexy.
When people feel good about themselves, they're more likely to eat better and exercise right. I felt better and followed a healthier lifestyle when I didn't feel like a failure for not looking perfect.
As it turns out, I look great just the way I am. All shapes and sizes look incredible and attractive when flaws are no longer taboo.
Becoming Part Of The Trend
The trend is just starting to gain ground. In this overly Photoshopped society, it's up to every one of us to make sure body honesty overtakes the fakes.
The first step is to take a real photo of yourself and post it on social media. Don't be afraid to post a selfie when you're lounging in your sweats with no makeup on. It makes me feel more confident about myself when I see others posting photos where they're not exactly looking their best.
Go ahead and share images promoting a positive body image. Add in a supportive comment while you're at it. The more people who participate, the more power the trend gets.
Photoshop might never disappear completely, but the mask is gone. We all know it's fake.
Body honesty is real and beautiful. It's time we embrace the actual beauty in the world.