• emmanuellegammage

Hoist your Underwear Up and Suck It In

That's right, all you need to do is hoist your underwear up and give yourself a wedgie whilst breathing in until you can't smile properly to get yourself the perfect Instagram body. No seriously, it's true. The right underwear, pose, lighting and angle will completely transform the appearance of your body so this is your reminder, when you're scrolling through Instagram wishing you had a peachier bum, less cellulite and a smaller waist, that your body is not 'wrong'.

90% of the men and women you see online don't actually look like that either. C'mon, we take a lot of pics of ourselves so don't pretend that you don't have a good side (mine is the left). Yes, it is absolutely natural to prefer a flattering picture of yourself but trying to alter your body altogether and putting your appearance rather than the memory first, that's not cool. In a group setting I would be so worried about what pictures my friends would post and how I looked mattered more than the actual experience itself. I went to the seaside earlier this summer and I truly didn't care what I looked like and didn't even look at my body when I was looking at the pictures I had taken - I just looked so happy and that's all that mattered. If you don't feel comfortable then remember, you don't even have to take pictures! You can remember the day in other ways, like writing it down. Your body should not define how you experience something, your body should not be a factor you consider when you make decisions and your body should not determine how you feel. Your body does not need good lighting, a good pose and angle. I have a question for you - why do you try so hard to alter your appearance? I used to place all my value on my body and how skinny it was. I wanted to be skinnier to be more attractive and therefore successful and happier. I indeed got skinnier, but that didn’t bring me the happy, boys falling at your feet, popular, more opportunity lifestyle it promised. I found a lot of approval from social media because lots of people complimented me and I thrived off that - it gave me the motivation to keep going and keep losing weight. Did that bring me any happiness in the long run? No.

I've always blamed my eating disorder on social media. People can post whatever the hell they want, not everyone will respond in the same way. For some, body image is not an issue at all but for the more impressionable and insecure people like me, we fail to call out the bullshit and see through the illusion. I followed women that looked immaculate and promoted fitness and healthy living (although there are some great influencers who promote these things, there are some fake and dangerous in the mix to be cautious of). I wanted nothing more than to look like a sweaty sun kissed kale eating model. It was only after recovery that the charade began to crack. I realised that it was SO easy to manipulate photos and their image. We all know how to use the apps and it only takes one click to completely alter an image.

My weight fluctuates very often. I don't always know the reason why, it just does. Sometimes I can pull an aesthetic Instagram photo off and sometimes I can't. You know that feeling when you look in the mirror, you think you're camera ready but the camera just isn't agreeing with you? Just like when I have a cool photography idea for my blog but can’t bring it to life. I really think that taking a good photo is just an art! Let's remember, those models are being photographed by professionals! It's their job to make models look good and it's the models job to look good. Poor 16 year old me believing that some women actually looked like an angel 24/7 was very naive indeed. Let's also remember that whilst influencers, or anyone on Instagram may try to be authentic, we don't actually know their whole life story. Some people may promote detox juices without even trying them. Some people may lie about their 'cheat day' or your version of 'cheat day' may be very different to theirs. Some people may show you what they eat in a day but miss out a few things. I used to bring salads to school and went running, appearing super healthy and dedicated to treating my body well, but obviously I wasn't healthy, I was ill.

Genetics also plays a huge role! It's the same as anything to do with your body - you inherit genes and certain traits from your parents etc that you simply cannot change no matter what. Yes, you can alter your body with surgery, going to the gym etc but the actual shape of your body and structure - you can't change that. Besides, why should you? Your body's purpose is not to look a certain way, its purpose is to keep you alive.

So, remember that social media does not portray an accurate reflection of anyone, no matter how hard they may try to. It is SO easy to portray and brand yourself in a certain way and it's SO easy to alter your body. Remember that no one truly has the ideal body or a perfect body - our body tends to look different every day and all the factors I've mentioned have a huge impact on the appearance of our body. The next time you feel insecure about your body and can't seem to understand why your body doesn't look thinner, bigger, perkier, toned or whatever - remember the following pictures...

My body looks more curvaceous with my underwear pulled up to emphasise my hips and minimise my waist. Pushing my shoulders back also changes the shape of my body.

By twisting my body and elongating my leg, I look skinnier and stretched compared to the second photo where I am slightly slouched. My 'thigh gap' (hate that phrase) differs depending on how I stand too.

My waist and bum look different depending on my underwear placement and stance.

My waist looks different depending on how I stand. I am quite obviously trying to emphasise my waist and bum in the second photo, but again, how often do we stand like that in true life?!

"You can be the most beautiful rose in the garden and some jerk will still say they prefer daisies"


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