I think this particular topic resonated with me quite a lot.
Having delved into the “health & fitness world” back in April when I decided to completely overhaul my lifestyle, it’s continued to become ever more apparent how important it is to be yourself online.
In a world where fitness influencers are often airbrushed, made to look skinner, more muscular and whatever else they do to their photos, I personally believe it’s never been more important to just be who you are.
You do you.
It may not always be super obvious when someone has altered their photo. Sometimes they may be edited professionally, sometimes they may just be super skilled themselves. Either way, what these people promote can be damaging, especially in a world where young girls and boys are so impressionable by what they see online.
But what does “being yourself” mean?
We want to be authentic, even if we don’t know what it is. That’s the paradox of the modern version of ‘be yourself.’ Rather than searching within, people are trying to match what ‘authentic’ means to others.
Being yourself is not about standing out or being different to others. Being authentic is following your path, not comparing to others. When you try to be ‘different,’ you disconnect from what you want.
When being yourself becomes the new fad, self development is no longer a meaningful journey. The directive to become different turns you into anything but authentic.
Authenticity is about staying true to what you believe, not about your image.
When you’re not authentic, the only person you’re really fooling is yourself. Quite often people can see beyond the mask that is social media.
Unfortunately social media platforms are not what they used to be. “Back in the day” when I signed up for my first accounts (MySpace & Bebo), your social media platforms were a place to share your story, the good and the bad, what you were doing at that moment, those random thoughts and dreadful images that showed exactly who you are.
There was none of this filtering business, using photoshop to airbrush those parts of you that you don’t like, no curated feed to make it look as though you live the most incredible and unachievable lifestyle. Social media was, for all intents and purposes, real.
Social Media has become a fake world carnival; you are expected to wear a mask, to hide your true-self.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of adding a filter to photos to make my skin look better, or making the environment look more “grungy”. It’s kind of what people want to see on platforms such as Instagram. We’ve become a very visual species. But not once have I gone out of my way to make my abs more prominent or my butt bigger. If you’re going to try and help inspire people to live healthy, you yourself need to do it in a “real life timescale”.
I think when you go through a fitness journey or weight loss journey, and you’re in a position where people follow you online, it’s super important to promote that you can have bad days as well as good, that there will be weeks where the scales stay the same or your body fat percentage doesn’t drop, and that you can still be on a fitness journey and have a pizza every once in a while haha.
Unfortunately I don’t ever think that everyone will change, but I do hope that one day, people will be inspired by other real people online, and instead of idolising those who promote unhealthy lifestyle choices, we’ll all make change for the better.
P.S. Super interested to hear your thoughts on this so please drop me a comment below! X