We've all had those moments when we've been scrolling through Instagram and seen picture after picture of what we believe to be the "perfect" woman—and I'm not just talking about airbrushed pictures of celebrities. I'm talking about lifestyle bloggers, fitness coaches and the woman who comes over every other Tuesday for a glass of wine while your kids play together. We aren't seeing any flaws and they look so much better than we ever could and we're left thinking, Man how does she do it? She always looks gorgeous.
It's hard not to compare ourselves to other women and social media makes it even harder. When we see a picture of a woman in a bathing suit and look down at our own loose abs, it makes us think they don't struggle and they probably aren't insecure about they way they look—but we're wrong.
Which is why we all love the realness of empowering women like Chessie King, a lifestyle and fitness blogger who isn't afraid to share her body with the world. She deserves a slow clap for her posts on Instagram where she shows us her "outtakes"—the pictures she almost deleted because she didn't think they were flattering—next to the pictures she actually puts out there in front of her 250,000+ followers.
The side-by-side pictures definitely puts things into perspective for all those watching.
King shares, "Both of the photos are me. I am proud of how I feel about my body looking at these photos. I feel like I look healthy in both & look after myself, but also live without controlling myself like I have done in the past."
She reveals she posts the "best photo in the bunch" and reminds us that just because we see a photo of ourselves in unflattering lighting or at a bad angle, doesn't mean we're not beautiful. "We were not made to be Barbie dolls who LOOK insanely good 24/7, we were made to be humans who FEEL insanely good 24/7."
What an amazing reminder we all need to hear. We are hardworking women who enjoy wearing sweatpants and dirty T-shirts sometimes. Not everyone looks good in the same clothing and, for the love of all things holy, we should be allowed to unbutton our pants and let our belly hang out after a super satisfying meal or just because we're more comfortable that way without feeling unattractive.
Easier said than done, I know. Accepting ourselves and our bodies is a journey. We all have shit days when we feel horrible about ourselves and the way we look—including King.
No matter how old we are, no matter what size we are, no matter how we eat, this is a message all women need to hear. Love the skin you're in and acknowledge the fact that striving for a perfect body is an unrealistic goal. Not even those who do it for a living can do it.
We need to let ourselves off the hook and stop thinking if only we had tighter thighs or a flatter stomach, we would be happy. Not only is having a perfect body unattainable, it shouldn't equal happiness for any of us.
If you ask me, there's nothing more freeing than that.