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Thinspiration is a symptom, not the problem!

Whilst this is not a new subject, I believe that it’s becoming more of an issue today than it ever has been before. Which, for 2014… is ludicrous.

I’ve heard so many songs on the radio, seen so many magazines in the shops, watched so many videos on TV… all bashing or praising people on their weight loss. One minute you have to be stick thin to be pretty, the next minute big girls are beautiful?

YOU, Yes you reading this, you are beautiful. If you have stretch marks, you’re beautiful. If you spend hours in the gym because YOU want to, you’re beautiful. If you’ve had a baby and 6 months later you can’t shift your baby belly, embrace it, you are beautiful. So what if Beyonce can bounce back from pregnancy in a matter of weeks? You created a life, you are the epitome of beauty.

The media have certain – ridiculously out of reach – beauty standards which they want to hold against us. We as women must max, pluck, tone, tan, diet and enhance certain parts of our bodies to look like the Photoshop ‘picture perfect’ images they ram down our throat week in, week out.

‘Thinspiration’ – (thin inspiration) – is a term used by women all around the world, normally posted next to a picture of an impossibly primed and beautiful woman that we should aspire to look like. I’ve heard on the news lately that this new thinspiration craze is behind the rise of hospital admissions for eating disorder cases. I challenge that theory that yes, it is most definitely a symptom and helps to heighten the insecurities of today’s women, but does that make it the problem? Or are the media, the magazines and the adverts to blame?

It’s not just bigger women that are on the receiving end of weight related insults, I know plenty of ‘skinny’ girls that have been abused, had comments made on their weight, had insults thrown at them, just for being skinny. My point is, its all down to personal preference. We should aim to look how we want to look, yes. But only because we want to, not because we are fat or skinny or too pale or too short according to others. We need to feel comfortable in ourselves. We need to support each other. Not criticise and judge each other. You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, so just do what makes you happy.

Here are two challenges we should all try:

1) The next woman you see, find something you like about her, be it her jumper, her hair, her shoes and tell her – give her a great big mood enhancing compliment.

2) Count how many adverts you see for cosmetics, diets, health foods, that portray women specifically. Write this number down, then list the same number of things that you like about yourself. You don’t have to tell anyone, but take the time to really see your true beauty.

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