Our bodies are the culmination of our life’s experiences.
Our bodies are incredible. However you believe we came about, whether created by a God or by science & natural selection the design is complex & brilliant. The fact we are made up of tiny cells which all bond together to create the human body & mind that has thoughts, feelings, movement and life is just insane.
Our bodies become what we ask of them. They are highly adaptive to environments and situations. If we push them physically, they will develop muscles & strength to achieve the task you ask of them. If you ask your body to become overweight by feeding it more than necessary then it will do so. It can repair itself & adapt to injury.
Why then do we mistreat our bodies & dislike them so much? This isn’t just a ‘female’ issue, this is a human issue. This is reflected in just how huge the cosmetic, fitness & fashion industries are and in the rapid growth of surgical & non surgical procedures to change body shape or slow the process of ageing.
This is also reflected in posts on social media. We have known for years that celebs & models are photoshopped and airbrushed to ‘perfection’. What was once the realm of celebrities is becoming more & more common for everyday posters to alter their body shape using a whole host of apps designed for this purpose. You can even pay to have a remote photo editor edit your post to remove the muffin tops before posting.
My concern is that this is adding extra pressure on our mental health. If someone is unhappy with how their body looks, traditionally they would have eaten cleaner & moved more which would take months to achieve. Now we can have an instant fix. By choosing to digitally remove the extra pounds or alter features & posting these pics to social media inevitably people respond telling us how amazing we look, assuming we must have worked hard to achieve the look. This boosts our self confidence and gives a temporary feeling of happiness & success until it comes crashing home that it is not actually real & the compliments are actually founded on deception. This leads to a whole host of negatively spiralling emotions & stress.
For years I disliked social media & the way it portrayed only the perfect snap shots of someone’s life. My views have changed & I see the benefits that it brings. It allows many, many more role models to be available to young people & enables them be able to find similar minded people which can make the more difficult times in life easier. But what does it do to our mental health if we cannot live up to the image we portray? And how will it affect humanity in the future when younger generations are not willing or able to work hard to achieve but expect results and success immediately?