The Body Image Issue
This new thinking of ’embrace your imperfections’ may be easy enough to say but it’s not always the easiest thing to believe. Recently there have been statements issued by popular female celebrities which shed light on their own battles with low self-esteem.
In recent years, Emma Watson has taken on an increasingly active role as an advocate for gender equality. She helped launch the HeForShe campaign in 2014 after being appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and continues to encourage the involvement of men in this battle for gender equality.
As someone who is typically shown as strong, empowered and determined, we might forget that she, like any other woman on the planet, has had her fair share of self-esteem issues whilst transitioning from a young girl to a grown woman. In an interview with Esquire UK, she opened up about her insecurities. She states that she was ‘riddled with insecurity and self-critiquing’ and that she would think ‘I can’t even reconcile myself with my own image on the front of these magazines’. Now, after some introspective thinking, she has realised that she has to live in a messed up system, stating ‘I’m not f*cked, the system’s f*cked. OK.’
Of this realisation, she says ‘it’s probably made me more beautiful and more confident as a result because I’m not carrying that anxiety any more’.
Another person who has recently spoken out about her body image struggles is Erin Heatherton, most famously known as a former Victoria’s Secret Angel. In a recent Instagram post, she states ‘I was struggling with my body image and the pressures to fulfil the demands of perfectionism upon me. I am not perfect. Through this struggle, however, I found the strength to love myself.’ She states ‘the breakdown to breakthrough moment in my life has allowed me to become the truest version of myself.’
These two statements act as a powerful reminder to everyone that although we can’t do anything about the system we’re born into, we can change the way we react to it. We don’t have to conform to ridiculous standards to be beautiful or happy and it’s important for us to realise that everyone faces these challenges in life, whether they’re an actress, a model or a non-famous, regular woman.
Our struggles aren’t anything to be ashamed of and they don’t signify weakness, instead they often help us grow and become stronger and more self-assured.
By Sophie Lau
Image from the Pam Hogg AW16 show by Chris Daw