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Why we strive to have the ‘perfect’ body.

The perception to be perfect usually derives from a sense of inadequacy – that a part of our body is lacking something. But would this inadequacy really exist if we didn’t have anything to compare it to?

We are all constantly comparing ourselves to someone or something that represents what we want to be like or look like. We trick ourselves into wanting to become an ‘ideal’ body weight and shape, yet we fall short more often than not of becoming this ‘ideal’ person. Why? Because no two bodies are the same. Our bodies are unique and specific to us.

So why do we aspire to look like someone else, when we are so different? We attempt to live up to societies ‘role models’. We fill our social media domains with constant pressures of body image, extravagant lifestyle expectations, money, popularity and social status. Without accepting ourselves wholly we become silent, proving we aren’t worthy of self-love or respect. We silence these thoughts and negative comments because then they can be hidden from the judgement of others. Yet the only real harsh critic is ourselves.

Why do we have an unhealthy obsession with food, diet and appearance? Simply, judgement – of ourselves and others. An article written in The Telegraph UK talks about how society creates ridiculous expectations for girls and how they should be perfect. That young girls and women are faced with an enormity of pressure to be ‘liked’ and how social media scrutinises and compares women. Day in and day out you see people who spend hours in the gym to change their body, and then hours taking an enormous number of selfies to then deleting or editing them because they’re not good enough. And all of that for what? Likes? We cannot trust the ‘highlight’ reel of Instagram. It is not a reality.

We encourage people to achieve a fitness and health related goal, but when that goal is trying to obtain someone else’s abs, bum or biceps it becomes unachievable. You are different! Your genes, body makeup, shape and whole composition is unlike anyone else’s! Be inspired by others, but be true to your own DNA. Be okay with lumps and bumps because trust me, those people on Instagram whose ‘non-real life’ you’re looking at, still have them.

Stop looking outside your body, at Instagram or #fitspo for the perfect body shape and look inside. The body you have has the amazing ability to be ‘perfect’ and ‘one of a kind’. Your body will take on its own perfect shape if you stop fighting it to conform to something it’s not! Let’s not silence our insecurities, but better yet voice them to each other! Me? I’m conscious of the cellulite on the back of my legs, my broad shoulders and my muffin top, but I don’t let it become my identity. Don’t focus on how you look, focus on what your body has the ability to do. Mine can box jump, what can yours do?

Brittney H. Schrick & Elizabeth A. Sharp & Anisa Zvonkovic & Alan Reifman. (2012). Never Let Them See You Sweat: Silencing and Striving to Appear Perfect among U.S. College Women. Springer Science + Business Media New York.

Udorie, J. (2015). Girls are obsessed with getting the perfect body - and it's killing them. The Telegraph Media Group.