Social media is great for many things. You can use it to connect with likeminded people, learn new things, and find inspiration. But it can also be dangerous, because through a slightly different lens, the same things that inspire you can make you feel completely inadequate.
I recently put my name in a hat, along with several other of my bodybuilding teammates, for the opportunity to represent a company at their booth at a big fitness expo. I was not selected, and the girls that were selected happen to have a very specific look and persona that is basically the opposite of my own. They are buxom with lovely long hair and have big portfolios of many sexy photos. Initially, I was really offended. Why should I have to have long hair and boobs to be seen as worthy/beautiful/marketable?
But scrolling through the Instagram feed of this company, I realized that I can never be the kind of person that fits their brand. Sultry is not who I am. Sporty? Yes. Funny? Yes. So why beat myself up if a company’s mission doesn’t match mine? Someday I’ll be sponsored by a company that fits my personality and look perfectly.
The lesson in all this is to stay true to who you are. If you’re not a skimpy sexy bikini photoshoot type of person, then don’t do skimpy sexy bikini photoshoots! If it’s difficult and stressful for you to put on enough muscle for the figure division, switch to the bikini division! Listen to you. You are the expert on you.
So here are 4 things to remember so you don’t get caught in the social media comparison trap:
Photoshop exists. There are so many ways to retouch photos using your mobile device that it’d make your head spin. I like following fitbody_britt and cali_aesthetics on Instagram because they call out the worst photoshopping offenders. I don’t like that they use bullying as their approach, but I follow them because they remind me to take everything I see online with a grain of salt.
No one is as perfect or as happy as they seem on social media. Most people use social media to share the high points of their lives. So when you take a broad look at someone’s posts, it might seem like they have the perfect life. But really, it’s just a highlight reel.
Don’t compare your Day 1 to someone else’s Day 365. When you look at someone who is where you want to be someday, you don’t see all the failures and bumps in the road that they had to go through to get to where they are. They were probably in your shoes once! I like to post then/now comparisons on Instagram frequently to remind myself how far I’ve come and to show other people that I didn’t just wake up one day and magically look like I do now.
No one can be you better than you can be you. You’re the best you there will ever be, so take advantage of your you-ness. What are you giving to the world that no one else could give?
I’m pretty excited because I placed the order for my new competition suit this week! It’s a different color than the one I have now and is going to be MUCH sparklier so I can make a splash on the pro stage. Ahhh, I can’t believe I’m only 9 weeks out!
Here’s the latest bod comparison! I think I’m looking leaner than last week. Could be the lighting though!
So what about you? Have you gotten caught up in the social media comparison trap?
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