The Problem with #bodygoals

You’re scrolling through your feed when you come across a gorgeous picture of a celebrity or someone you idolize. “Man, I wish I could look like them,” you think. We’ve all been there and we’ve all felt the pressure to have a great body from social media.

Social media plays a large role in shaping our ideas of beauty and perfection. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter are great for communicating and sharing, but they can also promote unhealthy images and ideas for our bodies. When you see a post of a really fit body captioned “#goals”, what do you think? Most would like the post and agree that they wish they looked like that. This is why #bodygoals posts appear so often, because nearly everyone can relate to wishing they had a better body. But posting, reposting or liking something like that only shows your insecurity about your own body.

It’s okay to be insecure about your body, it’s something nearly everyone experiences. But it’s sad how many of us really don’t like our bodies. By being exposed to constant images of unrealistic and nearly unattainable bodies, the public is heavily influenced on what a good body looks and what people should strive to look like. With the presence of photo editing, it’s easy for one’s ideas of what a healthy or beautiful body looks like to be skewed. This influence is especially harsh on teens because of the changes their bodies are going through and the importance of “fitting in” at this age. Because of all of the fitness advertisements and images of ultra-thin bodies that constantly flood our news feeds, one might think that your body is something you can control. But really, it’s hard to change who you are.

Something you can’t change is your genetics. Your genes determine your bone structure, bone density and muscularity, which all factor in to determine your body type. There are three medically determined body types that everyone fits into. These are endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph. These body types are different body shapes, which represent more of the diversity within the body types. Diet and exercise can change your muscle tone and weight, but if you are naturally tall, there’s not much you can do to decrease your height. The same goes for if you are naturally wide at the hips or are stick-straight. You can slightly change your body shape, but ultimately you are limited by your body type.

Something that you can change is your body image. Changing the way you see your body can be more difficult than exercising to change your body shape, but having a good body image is far more important. If you don’t love and appreciate your body now, there’s no way you’ll enjoy the way you look after working to obtain the body you want. Ultimately you need to love yourself for who you are. It’s hard to ignore social media, but try not to compare yourself to others, especially over your body type that you can’t change. Find what you’re good at and what your assets are. Although that person on Instagram may have a great body, maybe you have a great brain, heart or talent.

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