Mel Wells is an author and health coach who inspires people to love and respect their bodies through healthy living. In this article, Mel explores the importance to be true to yourself and not let the pressure of society, especially on social media rule your identity.
I am so proud to be an Ambassador for the Be Real Campaign! #BeReal
We spend our lives on social media and we need to remember that what we are seeing is usually not real life at all. It leaves people in a constant state of comparison but what we are seeing is not real life, it’s someone’s highlights of their reality. I think in today’s world people are crying out for more realness, more rawness, and more vulnerability. I see this all the time with my clients when they are trying to achieve an unobtainable idea of perfection in terms of body image, diet, weight. That’s why I want to be part of the Be Real Campaign.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I’d like to just address the fact that we are not walking around the streets with perfectly airbrushed smooth skin like Barbie and Ken. Our eyes do not pop out of our faces because they’re so sparkly. Our teeth are not lighting up the sky because they’re so white. It’s not our fault. This is what we have been conditioned to believe constitutes ‘beauty’ since we were children. Supermodels, celebrities and the ‘beautiful people’ - are idolised for their appearance over their achievements, and even these people, are still being photoshopped and airbrushed to perfection in their campaigns and movies. In this case, what hope do we have?
Now, we mere mortals are living in a digital world where we have the ability to airbrush our own faces. Perfection is at our fingertips and our egos and insecurities are growing because of it. Phone cameras now come with a default beauty face setting which airbrushes your blemishes before you’ve even taken the shot.
Most of what we see on social media won’t be the first shot, or even the second shot; most likely to be the hundredth shot. It won’t look anything like the original shot – as it will almost always be edited, comparable more to a work of fiction than one of reality.
With this, on Instagram for example, how many people will be made to feel like their lives are not good enough from seeing that shot? How many people will see that perfect shot - and look at themselves and question their own lives, their own beauty, their own ‘enoughness’? Comparisons are rife on Instagram.
It is completely our choice to edit our lives as we want to portray them. But we are losing our unique qualities and individuality in the never ending and soul sucking quest for perfection.
What I say is: don’t be afraid to embrace more of your mess, your rawness, your individuality. Also, don’t be scared to be vulnerable; there is so much beauty in that, and so much truth. It’s what people are crying out for and when you embrace your imperfections - it gives your followers and friends permission to do the same.
We all know there is no such thing as perfect anyway. We see the real life version of you and we love you because you’re you, not because of what you post. We know that’s not your real life.
We’re all just trying to love ourselves in a world that tells us subliminally every day how we should look, act and be.
So this week I want to challenge you to show your real selfie.
Before and after the editing happens.
To help all your followers on Instagram celebrate their real selves.
So we can temporarily cut through the smoke and mirrors.
If this inspires you - do the same, and then tag and nominate your friends to do the same.
And hashtag #ShowYourRealSelfie #BeReal
You can visit Mel's website to find more information about the work she does - including her new book!
If you would like to learn more about the Be Real Campaign and how you can get involved please contact us.