Healthy Mind

Society and the ‘perfect image’

Can we all just remember the time when we weren’t afraid to eat that extra slice of cake our granny gave us, when calories didn’t matter and when feeling good was getting to dress up in little dresses, confidently pretending you’re the next Cara Delevingne? Weren’t we all badly fooled.
Recently, the Irish blogger Niamh Cullen posted an image of her stretch marks on Instagram and wrote about body confidence. She then went on to say in the post that she receives daily messages from young girls.
“One I got today slightly broke my little heart. Anyone who tuned into my Snapchat will know what I am talking about. To cut the long story short, I’m reaching out to the young girls out there that nobody is perfect!!! Here is just one of my MANY imperfections. It honestly makes me so upset to see the pressure that young vulnerable girls put themselves under to be ‘perfect’”.
The problem with society today is that young people are living up to a perfect image that doesn’t actually exist. Take, for example, singer Colbie Caillat’s song ‘Try’. The lyrics in the song relate to being the pressure to be ‘perfect’ and suffering with loving yourself for who you are. They refer to putting on makeup, running the extra mile for the people around us to like us. Then coming towards the end of the song they talk about not trying too hard, being happy in your own skin, and loving yourself. This is also the message blogger Niamh Cullen wanted to send out to her followers.
As like everyone on the planet we get caught up with seeing pictures on Instagram, Pinterest and Google that look ‘perfect’. Do we all remember that there is a thing called airbrushing and lighting that make photos look better? It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking at someone on a screen and feeling like they have it all. We then question our own lives and want to be the person on that screen.
Niamh Cullen has a huge following, particularly from the younger generation, which she is well aware of. Niamh, who is also the owner of her blog ‘Behind The Braids’, encourages young girls to not get caught up in these false images. Niamh refers to everyone having little imperfections and that it is okay to have because after all, we are only human.
Recently, the journalist Amy Molloy also described how she was approached by a strange man in a bar in Amsterdam who said to her ‘I don’t normally fancy fat girls, but you’ve got a nice face’. How would this make someone feel? Why did a man have the guts to approach a girl and comment on her weight? And P.S. Amy Molloy fair play to you that you didn’t give a reaction to the pointless comment.
Niamh also got the backing of Irish magazines like RSVP and The Irish Independent newspaper about this post. Both RSVP and The Irish Independent raised the issue just like Niamh had outlined in her Instagram post about her imperfections and how nobody is perfect.
So what life are we living? We shouldn’t feel the need to answer back to these keyboard warriors or nasty comments made by people who have nothing least to do with their time only to bring down others. Niamh Cullen is just one of many people in the spotlight to tell us to enjoy being ourselves and not to follow this image of being ‘perfect’.
The final sentence in the post about her stretch marks was “Judge me when you are perfect” (you’ll be a while).