I always start my day with 10 minutes in bed scrolling through social media and current affairs. Pretty much every day I see the same things: skinny, 6 foot models in most fashion adverts; reality TV stars posing with a protein powder and their toned mid-drifts out; and personal trainers showing off what they’ve been doing in the gym, muscles bulging. What do all these things have in common? They don’t show stretch marks. They don’t show cellulite. They don’t show any imperfections which makes us normal women feel like we shouldn’t have them.
One morning this week when I was doing my daily ritual, I saw something out of the ordinary. Loose Women’s Stacey Soloman highlighted everything on her body that is perceived to be ‘wrong’; such as love handles, stretch marks and ‘saggy’ boobs. She was embracing them and showing how they can be useful. It was so refreshing yet surprising at the same time. I applaud her for doing it because it’s exposing parts of her that the media has abused her for in the past.
Another recent break through in the media was that ASOS decided to stop photoshopping out their models stretch marks. HALLELUJAH! We finally see that even size 6 models have stretch marks and cellulite: it really is completely normal, ladies. And think about it, if it’s made headlines that they’ve stopped photoshopping the models, imagine just how many brands do erase out those characteristics.
Model, Iskra and her Every Body Is Beautiful campaign made me realise that literally every photo you see has been changed in some way. She vows to never retouch a photo of herself which I find incredibly brave when everyone around her in the industry is. She recently posted a video of women of all shapes and sizes emphasising that if you have a body and you wear a bikini, you have a bikini body. When it’s put that simply, it makes you feel silly ever thinking that your body couldn’t wear a bikini. Why couldn’t it? Just because your body doesn’t look like the model wearing it doesn’t mean it’s not for you.
Think of it like this: if you saw a headband you really liked on a model who had different coloured hair to you, you wouldn’t think ‘I can’t wear that because she has blonde hair and I have brown’. The headband is made for all different hair styles, colours and shapes: just like swimwear.
These are all positive movements in the media and give me real hope for the future that more women, including myself, will finally come to terms with the fact that we are fine the way we are. We have our own shapes and with that does come insecurities but we need to learn to accept them and own them because it’s what makes us individuals.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you someone else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson