Time and time again, I have read that you cannot spot reduce. You cannot change the dimensions of your body, no matter how curvy or slim you become. Our only solution is to pray that our figures are on-trend, or invest in a marketing gimmick.
My waist-to-hip ratio has never been the issue. As a matter of fact, it is a celebrated part of my body. I do occasionally wish that my hips could be shorter, as my waist seems to become drowned in them. My main concern is proportions. My upper body has always been far smaller than my lower half.
Even at the age of 8, it was incredibly noticeable. Glancing at my holiday photos in Greece, I decided that my thighs were big and I had no chest. By the time I reached 18, I had to accept that the hourglass and I were not to be.
Statistics suggest that only 8% of women can truly consider themselves an hourglass. The rest of us may be classified as: rectangle, apple, an inverted triangle or pear. In today’s society, this might not seem like such a bad thing. Curvy models are becoming more popular and high-fashion models will generally promote a natural rectangle. Despite the influx of variety, to me body shapes are still plaguing millions of people worldwide.
One of my best friends was born incredibly slender. I was somewhat envious growing up, as Western culture presented the idolisation of size 0. She on the contrary, hated being so ‘skinny’ and her body became an open discussion. She tirelessly had to defend herself. “You need to eat more”, “I wish I could be as skinny as you, but I love food too much”. Her diet includes more food than mine, yet I have never had to stand up for myself, in the way that she has.
Weight-training has been on the rise; most-likely due to social-media. Every so often, I encounter a post on someone who once did cardio but now lifts weights. Because of this, they have a nicer physique – their derrière is more pronounced. It perfectly coincides with today’s fashion – praying a person informs you that your ‘bum looks big’. I am certainly not against weight-training and believe it is a fantastic form of exercise. In addition, the lifting movement has taken away the fear of women gaining muscles and turning ‘manly’.
Where my fear lies, is in the judgement of people who would rather find other workouts as opposed to lifting, as well as the pressure to have a body of a person who lifts – as that is now hugely desirable. Secretly when I upload my overly confident ‘fitness’ snaps, I often wonder how many scrolled past and thought – this girl needs to pick up a weight.
Just a few months ago, I opened up my DM to receive a message from a girl thanking me, as my kind comments had made her feel better. She had a ‘troll’ write horrible remarks on her appearance. Even though she routinely documents her progress with health, she was targeted as she is not the stereotypical image of what a girl on Instagram should be. When I first joined the site, I was nowhere near toned (look at my transformation post) and I feel lucky enough, that people were inspired by my journey, even when I was at the beginning. I am to this day, not a representation of an ‘Instagram influencer’, however I will continue to upload and motivate, as my life has changed.
No matter how much we promote fitness inspiration and healthy lifestyles; there will always be a specific trend. My hope is that one day we can just accept health for what it is. We can encourage anyone to eat more nutrition and increase movement. We can equally praise health, whether that is a healthy apple, pear, rectangle, inverted triangle or hourglass.
How much pressure do you feel to be a specific shape and are you happy with your physique?