Gina Vaynshteyn
October 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Before I hopped in the shower this morning, I gave myself a little look in the mirror. “Girl, you need to lose a couple pounds. Those thighs are getting a little out of control,” I told myself. But then I took a step back and thought, why am I thinking like that? What is it that makes us so inclined to judge our bodies so harshly? I’m at a healthy weight, and I should be loving and appreciating my body accordingly. But for some reason, I just can’t. And I know I’m not alone in this.

In a recent study conducted by Glamour magazine, 1,000 women from the age of 18 to 40 were surveyed about how they felt about their bodies. 54 percent are not satisfied with the way they look, and “80 percent say just looking in the mirror makes them feel bad.” EIGHTY percent. Glamour set up the same survey question in 1984, and guess what? The numbers were actually lower. 30 years ago, 41 percent of women were unhappy with their bodies. So what’s going on here, exactly? We’ve seemingly made so much progress with our body-positive attitude, bringing fat and thin shaming to light, and calling out institutions and companies that dare make us feel badly about our weight and size. According to Glamour, more women now feel even worse about their image due to these factors:

1. We don’t compare ourselves to celebrities, we compare ourselves with each other.

Apparently, we have collectively decided it’s a little silly to compare our bodies to those of actresses and models. After all, they are paid to look good. They have personal chefs and trainers. However, we’ve replaced this unrealistic ideal with people we know. If our friends on Facebook and Instagram can look good, then why can’t we?

2. We rely too heavily on validation

Glamour calls us “like-aholics,” and explains that even when a woman feel confident about how they look, if one of their posted photos does not attain enough likes or comments, she starts to wonder if she indeed looks beautiful. Glamour notes that The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery “reports that a third of its member doctors have seen an uptick in requests of cosmetic procedures from women wanting to look better on social media.”

3. We spend a LOT of time online

Apparently 1.8 billion photos are shared on every single social media platform, every single day. That’s a LOT of photos. Obviously we’re not seeing all of them, but it’s true that we spend a hefty amount of time online. 4 ½ hours is the average amount, according to Glamour. We are willingly surrounding ourselves with images, and this constant exposure is damaging.

We are not happy with these results. They’re super disappointing, because knowing how far we’ve come with body-acceptance, there is always something (well, many things) keeping us from finally achieving true happiness with ourselves. But that’s why we’re opening this conversation with you guys today. Because we feel that it’s important to discuss these issues, and by doing so, maybe we’ll finally get to the bottom of this and squash all of our self-doubt and scrutiny for good.

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