About a decade ago, you literally couldn’t find a photo of me online that I hadn’t spent an hour obsessing over ‘fixing’. Even something as simple as a Myspace profile picture would involve me staying up all night staging a mini-photoshoot in my bedroom, culling the hundreds of photos down to five or ten where I felt that I was acceptable looking, and then altering my appearance on Photoshop. Smoothing my skin, narrowing my nose, enlarging my breasts and of course, making myself thinner (than my already wasting away frame).
And I felt so trapped in that mentality (even after I began to recover from Anorexia) until I learned how to stop those thoughts from within. We can all be our own worst critics and when we take a step back and start to unravel the stories we tell ourselves, it all becomes so clear!
I used to think that the picture on the right is what I had to look like if I wanted to be beautiful. 6 years ago, I would’ve been OBSESSED with using this app…. like the 10 MILLION PEOPLE who’ve downloaded it.
My skin has been smoothed, makeup applied, breasts enlarged, waist and face thinned, eyes enlarged, under eye circles erased.
In just a few minutes and with a few clicks of a button, I’ve erased myself. I’ve taken away my character, my lines, my ‘flaws’ and my scars.
And 6 years ago… that would’ve made me happy. But now… now it just makes me sad.
In just a few clicks of a button, I "perfected" myself. Bigger boobs, smoother stomach, thinner thighs and a tan. And whilst some may look at this and think "the picture on the right looks better" – I urge those people to ask themselves why they think it's better. To ask themselves how much of their aesthetic preferences are driven by current media standards of digital faux-perfection. To ask themselves what the greater impact is of seeing photoshopped images everywhere to the point where we don't always realise that they're altered. We all have an aesthetic preference and there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but it's beneficial for us all to do some self-reflection from time to time and assess where that preference is drawn from — if we find that our preferences are less based on our own innate desires and instead driven by what we think we "should" like, that's a clear indication that we should dig a little bit deeper and explore those issues. For me, exploring my own aesthetic preferences revealed that I was hugely swayed by the media and over time, I've found that routine media "detoxes" help align me with my self-love goals. And I'm proud to say that after spending years hating myself, it brings me immense contentment and satisfaction to look at this side by side and STILL prefer the real me – real boobs, real thighs, real stomach. Some people have larger bodies, some people have smaller bodies… This is my body, and it's "me" sized. It's nourished with good food, nutrients, love, movement and belly laughs and that's a beautiful thing 👌🏻 Photoshopped perfection can go phuck itself 🖐🏻 Learn how to media detox to help you recognise troubling messages around you that may be adversely impacting your mindset: anastasiaamour.com/INSIDEOUT
Because those under eye circles? They show that I’m tired, and remind me that I need to put my self-care first and get enough sleep.
My breasts? They’re imperfect and they’re flawed and they’re mine.
My waist? It doesn’t define my worth.
My face? It’s my character. It laughs and cries and lets me convey my emotions to the amazing people that I surround myself with.
This is your daily reminder that the ‘edited’ you; the carefully curated ‘Insta version’ of you isn’t real. And yes, it may be beautiful and the lighting may be great and you may get loads of likes…. but those likes don’t mean a damn thing if you can’t like yourself when the filters are taken away; when it’s nothing but you and your bare self.
YOU are good enough. YOU are pretty and beautiful and sexy enough. YOU are worthy, and you are enough.
Give me flawed, messy, wonderful reality any day!
The bodies we see in magazines, on the screen and in advertising everywhere ARE 👏🏻 NOT 👏🏻. REAL! 👏🏻 We find ourselves disgusted, fearful or ashamed of what we see in the mirror because we've been told that all skin should be flawless, all bodies should be perfect; older women are smoothed out of existence – cellulite is airbrushed away – natural movements of the body are contorted back into where they "should" be. And it's not just limited to those in the media – we all have that power with editing apps. It's friends around us, insecure of what they perceive are their flaws. It's bloggers, fighting to compete in a crowded market. It's anyone who has ever been told that their body isn't good enough. But I promise you, darlings…. the REAL you is always good enough. Always. 🙏🏻 Don't airbrush away your story. For your battle scars, your lines, your tattoos, your bruises… they're part of your story. And that's uniquely yours. What a beautiful thing 💜🌱
P.S. If you feel like you need a bit of a detox from selfie editing, I run through how to avoid the “I’m not good enough unless I retouch myself!” trap in Inside Out.