So, I started thinking about body image and my post in relation to self-confidence and the impact social media has on how we feel about ourselves (https://fitoverforty.blog/2019/04/15/social-media-does-not-always-tell-the-real-story/). The post on this topic related to the age range of 18-35year olds but I am now considering how this also applies to the over 40s.
I am 46 but, in my head sometimes I am still in my 20s – therefore, are the expectations of how I should look, on a parallel to this or am I considering how I look in relation to the life and years that I have lived? The truth is, I am not really sure I know the answer. Some days I feel I look good for my years and other days, absolutely washed up!
I see old school friends posting pictures on social media and I think how great they look and yes, the envy monster rears its ugly head – I am not saying I want to take away anything from them, but I would like to feel as good as they look. Personally, I strongly believe that where my mental health is on a given day will ultimately affect how I perceive myself to look and my overall self-confidence. If I wake up feeling positive, stress free, and life/work are generally going well – I look in the mirror and I see a smile, a clearer complexion and a general sense of wellbeing. If I am running around chasing my tail, then I see age lines (particularly from my permanent concentration – frown lines) and just a tense face matching that of my tense physical state.
When considering social media, on which day am I most likely to make a post? The truth be known, only when I feel my best. This is likely to be a night out, so hair and make-up have been done. How many pictures do I take, to get that one picture to post? – probably about 1000. I generally will post pictures that I think are a positive reflection of me – I think we can apply this to many of us. I do have action shots – but they are few and far between. Would I take a picture of me at the gym? personally, no because I sweat A LOT and I don’t like the look on me. I wonder how many others behave like I do? I also wonder therefore, if more of us were to post pictures captured at various times during the day, just going about our business, would that provide a real-life snapshot of our lives? Would this help boost the confidence of those that feel their self-confidence is affected by social media? Would I upload a profile picture whilst cleaning – the loo for example? Scrubbing the muddy paw prints off my kitchen floor? I don’t know maybe this is over simplified but I hope that the point I am making is that our social media pictures are usually a snapshot of the more unrealistic version of us (not always, I grant you that, gorgeous photogenic people!).
I believe we should try and celebrate others and be mindful of how we feel and take responsibility for those feelings. If self-confidence is low, do something positive – go for a walk, paint your toe nails, read a book, write a blog – whatever works best for you. I am going to take my camera out on my next run and post the pictures I take rather than delete …. Are you ready to be entertained!!!???