As of recently, I have to say that I’m (a little) obsessed with Instagram. Now that my Facebook is pretty much all sponsored ads, pages, and people sharing videos, I turn to Instagram to get my fix of looking at photos only.
One of the famous people I follow on Instagram is Lil’ Debbie, a female rapper known for her unique style of dressing.
Most of the comments I read regarding this photo were all talking about her “thigh gap” and hash-tagging things like #teamthighgap (since when is this a thing?). Some people were arguing that it was photoshopped and some were arguing whether if it was sexy or not.
Now I know there are girls out there that have a thigh gap because they’re naturally very thin and that’s OK (I mean, women do come in all shapes and sizes). So it really makes me mad when people go on to criticize or glorify certain body parts and claim that if you do ordon’t have what they like, that you just aren’t worthy to their standards.
I see comments like these being made all over social media. For example, a local Miami celebrity, Pepe Billete, has a whole website dedicated to rating girls based on if they have big enough butts or not (according to his standards). (Side note: When he’s not rating girls or making what I believe to be sexist comments, Pepe Billete does have some very funny content related to all things Miami).
I think this can have a negative effect on younger girls who are constantly seeing these comments all over their news feed and thinking that they need to live up to these standards. After all, they’re not only looking up to the photoshopped models in magazines, they’re looking up to pictures of real girls who get over 1000 likes on a filtered selfie. They’re being influenced by contradicting comments posted by everyday people who are deciding what’s “beautiful” and what’s not.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s no need to criticize models or girls who are “too thin.” Some women are naturally like that and don’t gain weight no matter what they do. But, there isn’t a need to only show that specific body type in most media and to pressure celebrities to lose weight in order to look like that. Since beauty is defined culturally, I think the media should just simply show more variety of women (kind of like in the Dove ads). Maybe this way, we’ll learn to accept all body types, therefore accepting our own.
Model Robyn Lawley was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and she beautifully put it all into perspective: love your body for what it is, be healthy, and it’ll reflect on your natural beauty. And that’s all it pretty much comes down to.
Do you think that we, as consumers and spectators, can do anything else to change societal pressures of looking “perfect”? Give us your thoughts below!
-Author Alexandra Floresmeyer, is part of the advertising team at Her Campus FIU. She is also a contributing writer whose articles and opinions (such as the one above) can be found on her personal blog, Go Ask Alex.