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Remember a time when there was no social media?

Or when the only thing that you saw on Facebook, Instagram, Hi5 or MySpace were pictures of food or memes?

Those were the days. So, why am I asking you this?

Women are faced with constant pressure from social media to conform to things like the Panty challenge, Kylie Jenner lip challenge, A4 waist challenge, bikini bridge challenge, the thighbrows challenge and the thigh gap. Put simply, if you can’t compete in these challenges, your body is judged to be subpar.

Who comes up with this stuff? And what were they thinking?

For a period of time, the thigh gap dominated social media, an offshoot of the ABC diet started by ‘thinspo’ and pro-anorexia forums which had to be shut down due to young women on these sites seeking ‘anorexia buddies’ to encourage one another. Many of these young women participated in the thigh gap craze, often believing themselves to be less than those who could conform to this outrageous standard if they could not. Despite being debunked by women on these platforms many times, the thigh gap continued until another challenge came along.

The A4 waist challenge encouraged young women to trim their waists down to the width of an A4 piece of paper, by any means necessary.

And after all those other challenges, came the panty challenge. Check to see how clean your underwear is after you’ve worn it all day! If encouragement to starve yourself wasn’t enough, the internet is now conditioning our young women to believe that a natural process like discharge is wrong or bad, rather than necessary to keep our reproductive system clean and healthy.

Anorexia is the number one cause of death from mental illness in Australia. Those who suffer from it are 32 times more likely to attempt or complete suicide than a person who does not suffer from a mental illness, according to the Department of Health.

In our society, particularly with the use of social media, attitudes towards body image are becoming more and more sinister, and your children are becoming more vulnerable than ever. Women’s appearances have long been the subject of social comment – from magazine articles about who’s lost weight to who’s wearing what and if they looked good in it, to the use of ‘sex sells’, often utilising the scantily clad or over-sexualised form of a woman to sell products. It’s pretty normal to begin to question whether our appearance is ‘ideal’, to question if you are simply too short or too fat, and to become resigned to the concept that your body is for public comment.

Perfection, in my opinion, is not about adhering to society and its expectations of you.

Perfection is being the best version of yourself that you can be.

The miracle that is you! Imagine that without you, how would the world be? So how can you step away from these challenges and start focusing on your true beauty?

Think about creation – right now, you are perfect. Out of all the possibilities you could have been, you are you. For some reason at that very moment of conception, everything has aligned in the most perfect way to create you. That is perfection.

If you have been created out of perfection – there is no need to strive for “perfection”. You are living it.

Maybe things don’t sit the way they did before you had a baby, but that doesn’t mean that you are not perfect. Maybe you’ve had a hard time the last few years and haven’t been able to take care of yourself because you’ve been looking after someone else, that’s perfect too!

Right now, you have made it to this point of your life. Perhaps this is a wake up call for you to snap out of media control and to take a look at yourself from a different perspective.

This is for you if you have doubted yourself during the course of your life.

If you have been bullied.

If you have been taken advantage of.

If you have been made fun of.

If you have been stood up.

If you never fit in.

This is for you if you have stopped believing that you are enough.

This is for you – because you are enough, you are perfect, you are amazing!

And you do not need a social media to tell you otherwise.

How do you find ways to disconnect from social media? Share your techniques below!

 Image source Shutterstock.

  • I don’t use social media – just haven’t got the time or inclination.

    Reply

  • You need to be a realist. Social media can be overbearing, get out of it if it gets too much.

    Reply

  • I don’t strive for perfection, just happiness within myself. I’d hate to be a teenager, a young or first time Mum needing social media for satisfaction. I do hate what it’s doing to our younger generation. As a 40+ woman, I don’t need social media to validate me and I’m so sorry that others do.

    Reply

  • Personally I don’t experience the strive of perfection because of social media. I never experienced pressure from social media to conform to things like the Panty challenge, Kylie Jenner lip challenge, A4 waist challenge, bikini bridge challenge, the thighbrows challenge and the thigh gap….to be honest never heard of some of these things.
    Personally I don’t think you can blame social media for this, this is your own choice and it probably has everything to do with your personality. Striving to be the best in something or the smallest or whatever…really, why would I ?

    Reply

  • There are very positive things about social media but there is also some very negative things.
    Im really not sure that young children should have social media accounts and they shouldnt be able to text message, etc. I know there is no way we can change that now but if we had thought about it years ago and stopped it then we wouldnt have to deal with a lot of the negative that is thrown towards our young people.

    Reply

  • I use social media sparingly. However it is important to be savvy enough with technology to know what children are accessing.

    Reply

  • I am very happy with who l am and social media doesn’t bother me!


    • It does not bother or influence me either – wise enough to know it is only social media.

    Reply

  • I don’t even see those challenges on social media but I am content with being me anyway

    Reply

  • Thankful I do not see these challenges – only good and positive ‘stuff’ on the social media content I view. I would ignore it anyway and exclude these posts. I feel no pressure to conform to any other person’s ideas of perfection.

    Reply

  • I have a facebook account but I’m not much on it. Just use it to connect with family and friends in Europe, Africa , India and Brazil. I would certainly not any of these challenges and don’t feel a bit of pressure from social media.
    Each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made indeed !

    Reply

  • I just ignore all those stupid challenges.

    Reply

  • I don’t use social media. This however does not stop the bombardment of articles that appear in online magazines telling people how they should think, look, and behave. Fortunately I am old enough to see through the nonsense and ignore them. I do think it is important to stress to young girls that they should never compare themselves to others because if they do they will never be happy. Everyone, young and old, male and female, should focus on being grateful for who they are and what they have.

    Reply

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