"Reality Check" Imgur Photo Reminds Us That "Fit" And "Perfect" Aren't The Same Thing — And It's A Message Worth Sharing
There is tons of pressure on men and women to have a "perfect body," and we're often told that all we need to do to achieve one is "just get in shape." But as Imgur user SomewhereUnderWater pointed out, having a fit body isn't the same thing as having a perfect body — and in fact, a "perfect body" doesn't even exist. And happily, that message is going viral.
The post, which is entitled "Reality Check," includes four images of a woman in workout clothes from various angles. These images show clearly that although she might look "perfect" from a certain perspective or in a particular pose, that doesn't mean she's going to look that way from every angle and in every position. And most importantly, she's not supposed to. Writes SomewhereUnderWater in the caption:
"We aren't Barbies. We are made of flesh and blood. These are all the same body — my body. I have worked hard for this body and I am proud of this body. In a world where we are surrounded by the images of our friends [sic] highlight reel sometimes it's good to see a little reality so we can keep our expectations real. No matter where you are on your body's journey, be proud and love yourself. Make goals because you love your body not because you hate it."
The thing is that although we are frequently bombarded with images of "perfect" bodies, those images are just that — images. They're a single snapshot at a single angle, and if it's from an ad or other professional source, it's probably been airbrushed. When it comes to real bodies, it doesn't matter what they look like from any particular angle while you're standing perfectly still. What makes bodies awesome is what they can do and how healthy they are and how you feel in them. And what bodies look like has really very little to do with any of that.
And yet, for some reason we're constantly being told that our bodies need to look a certain way — as if the perception of our worth as human beings is entirely dependent on our appearance. We're told that we need to look perfect, and if we don't, it's because we haven't "gotten in shape" yet. In other words, it's our own fault. Because all we'd need to do is get in shape, right? And then we'll look perfect?
Except of course that's not how it works. And sometimes the world really needs a reminder of that.
The response to the photos by SomewhereUnderWater has been mostly positive, with people leaving comments about how much it resonated with them. And as a result she posted an update in the caption that reads:
"Wow. I am so very grateful that my message was received by so many in the way it was intended. ... We all struggle with body image, we are all in this together! The important thing is that we love our bodies -- and when I say that I mean that we care for our bodies. We won't always like everything that they do, or the path they have gone down or everything that happens to them but we do have to love them (like family). Respect them, guide them, show them kindness, mercy, forgiveness, push them to be their best with positive affirmation and encouragement! Be thankful for them."
Once again, amen!