Is it any wonder our collective body image is so messed up?! Throughout history, the idea of the 'perfect' female body shape has changed as much as fashion trends we're seeing on the catwalks right now. Currently, we’re in the Kim Kardashian/Kylie Jenner era, where it's fashionable to have big boobs, a big bum (and big lips to match!) - but everything else needs to be small. This isn’t the first time we’ve coveted a certain celebrity’s body, though. Since before any of us were born, there have been body trends, usually sparked by the popularity of a woman in the public eye. And as that woman is replaced when another, the trends change, meaning that the physical qualities that we desire today are often at odds with those from previous generations.
VIDEO: Watch me transform in the video above
I wanted to illustrate this. I wanted to help women understand that it’s not about their bodies, it’s never been about their bodies or how they measure up to the girl of the moment. It’s not about how flat their bum is or how big their boobs are or how flat their tummy is - it's about companies spotting trends before they’re even trends, exaggerating them to create insecurities and then making a quick buck out of us trying to seek a 'fix'.
Think about it - how many different waist trainers are there on the market? The Brazilian Bum Lift (essentially, sucking fat out of your tummy and putting it in your bum) has absolutely exploded in popularity, despite the death rate following a BLL being a terrifying 1 in 3,000.
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To demonstrate my point, I took a picture of myself and photoshopped it according to each era, and captioned each edit with the celebrity of the decade and the desired features they brought with it.
It's sad. Actually no, it's devastating. To me, it's now crystal clear why many of us have problems with our body image. Society teaches us to always covet something we (generally) don’t have, to look like someone else, to lose weight at all costs... We're never taught to accept ourselves exactly how we are. If we were, it would put an end to so many eating disorders, body image problems and general dissatisfaction with ourselves. And leave us time and energy to focus on things that actually matter, like our morals, our values, building a meaningful life, being kinder to one another. Maybe 2020 can be that decade - I’m crossing everything.
READ: Why 2020 is the year we stop comparing ourselves to others on social media
Social media is a brilliant way to connect people and create communities, but it also has a dark side. Join HELLO!'s #HelloToKindness campaign to promote positivity on social media. A kind ethos underpins everything we do at HELLO! and we urge our community to think twice before you post. Find out more about the #HelloToKindness campaign.