When you embrace your flaws and imperfections, they become your strengths and virtues
I currently live in Manhattan where everyone is either on their way to the gym, or on their way back from the gym. My Facebook feed is full of men and women that are either talking about going to the gym or about their diet. If you look through my friend feed, “people you might know feed,” or my Instatgram feed, you would think that no one owns a shirt or can afford food. Ninety percent of the posts I read are about some form of exercise, gym selfies, or the terrors of “The Carb!!!” There are so many people trying to obtain this “alien physique” with zero percent body fat and muscle structure like that of a roman statue. And I buy right into it, making my self feel like shit because I eat pizza and don’t spend a week jogging in a plastic suit so that I will become dehydrated and look “great” for a fitness photo shoot.
Now, no one would look at me and say that I am overweight or out of shape, but I’m constantly feeling like a fat saggy gross blob that only my cats could love. Whenever I am in public, I am constantly trying to hold my stomach in and pray that the wind doesn’t blow my shirt in the opposite direction, making it hug to my disgraceful midsection. I’m constantly on red alert. I try to remind myself about all the articles I read on how social media ruins your self-esteem. Being a designer, I know that all of the photos people post, are all Photoshopped, filtered, and the 30th shot in a series of 100 bad outtakes. But still, this media monster consumes me.
We have tried so hard to better ourselves, pulling away from our bad habits and unhealthy lifestyles in this nation as a whole. And what have we accomplished? Now fitness shows are on every channel, turning obesity into a public spectacle. We’ve traded one eating disorder for another. Now everyone thinks that they are a licensed nutritionist… and every licensed nutritionist thinks they are a GOD. You start to think, if you can pinch an inch, you are obese and need to stop eating all carbohydrates. We’re more concerned with taking the perfect shirtless-selfie of our washboard abs, than the real problems in the world around us.
I have so many fitness obsessed friends who are single and constantly complain that they can’t find love. Well, think about it. If you are constantly judging yourself by this harsh rule, you are most likely judging everyone you meet by the same unrealistic standards. You might be on a dating site and say, “oh, they aren’t as physically fit as I am, not interested.” Or you might say, “oh, they are way out of my league.” Meanwhile, you know that they most likely don’t even look like that in person. Their “flaws” (i.e. what makes us human) might have been Photoshopped and they have spent hours just trying to get the one shot that they would be happy with. Yet, we still hold ourselves back from true happiness because we are constantly striving to be the better “us” we can be.
Now, I’m not saying that working out and eating well are bad by any means, and if you naturally have abs because you are 18 years old with the metabolism of a hummingbird… I’m happy for you. But if you feel yourself constantly struggling and competing with an invisible monster, then you have to admit there is a problem. What is the resolve for this problem? Well, in my opinion, I think the first step is to stop acting like these issues aren’t effecting your life. Let people know that you feel the same way that they do. We can acknowledge that no one is “perfect” and that when you embrace your flaws and imperfections, they become your strengths and virtues. Stop pretending like it’s normal to spend 7 days a week in a gym and replace 3 meals a day with protein shakes and supplements. Realize that there really is no reason for all of your friends to feel obligated to post half naked photos of themselves on all social media platforms. It’s not normal. It’s just what so many of us have become accustom to.