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Why We Don't Normalize Normal Bodies

aAn article about Body Image and Media from

So why do I post pictures of myself with almost no clothes on, usually my underwear on Instagram? It’s not for the attention, I can tell you that much. It’s me starting to embrace myself for who I am and hoping others can do the same.

Most of us don’t get to see a person like ourselves represented in media. So, what I did was take to Instagram in a bid to represent myself and show that there is no shame in that. All body types deserve representation and acknowledgment. Fat people can be cute, pretty, sexy. Thin people can be cute, pretty, sexy. Disabled people can be cute, pretty, sexy. The lady with the bigger tummy… you called it, she can be cute, pretty and sexy too.

Few bodies have been and still are acceptable in media today. Even with changes going on, for example Dove’s new #ShowUS campaign, trying to normalize normal bodies is not going to be an overnight or easy process. We have been taught that if a body does not look a particular way, that we should reject and sometimes even shame it. Or even look at Nike with the new plus size mannequin in stores. The backlash they got over representing a plus size woman who likes to exercise, or even just hang out in gym gear was insane.

Go to Mauritania (an African country) where girls are force-fed because fat is beautiful Thin is not acceptable. Again, here all bodies are not normalized, and naturally petite bodies are judged and not seen as attractive enough.

But what really gives? Each place has its perceptions on beauty- small feet, big eyes, big butt, flat tummy, big breasts, small breasts, hourglass figure, round hips, thigh gap, and the list goes on. Within each place, the same representation of beauty is advertised, but each place either embraces it, tweaks it or completely rejects it. But here’s a crazy question: what if we allowed women to just inhabit their bodies as they see fit? Also, what if we let women not be dictated to about what they should look like and leave bodies alone? Just stop commenting on them and perhaps instead of saying “that dress looks good but not on her” and say “that dress looks good on you!” If you don’t have it in you to say it, then don’t comment.

I get comments from co-workers about my Instagram account because why would I dare to show my body? A body that is not the ideal form according to media. A body that dares to be represented. A body that shows a slice of confidence. I felt less bad when I realized that people hate what they don’t understand. Media has gotten us to understand its message, but the body positive message is still misunderstood and therefore not liked by many.

I will continue to post my pictures and hopefully inspire. In the meantime I will also support change in media in representing my type of body type and many others until it becomes the norm. Bodies jiggle, bodies have rolls, bodies are thin, fat, short, tall, dimply and bodies are beautiful. Let’s show that!

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