Lately, there’s been a real spate of photos of women on social media in their underwear or swimwear. They’re not showing off, they’re showing us what a real woman looks like – stretch marks, cellulite and all. And I admire them.
They look great and I applaud their confidence and their bravery. They’re reminding us all that the airbrushed images on social media and in magazines are neither real nor realistic and they’re also often taking a massive step out of their comfort zones to share these pictures.
So I wondered if I would be brave enough to share my picture?
I’m confident in my body’s ability to run and I know my body is pretty good for a woman of my age, but I still can’t pluck up the courage to pose in my underwear on Instagram.
In fact, I don’t want to pose in my underwear on Instagram.
For one thing, my kids look at my Instagram. Maybe their friends do too (although my kids have done their best to block their friends from my account). Put yourself in a teenager’s shoes. How would you feel about your mum in her underwear on social media?
For another thing, I’ve just never been one for skimpy clothes. I don’t wear a bikini. I don’t even take a swimsuit on holiday (I do only go to Padstow after all). I have just purchased my first pair of short shorts in my entire adult life. I always wear shorts down to the knee. I’ve never worn low cut tops or short skirts. It just isn’t me. Even though I’ve got nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
I’m 5′ 6″, I weigh 9 stone 2 and I’m a size 8. I know lots of people would love my figure. Lots of other people would say I’m too thin.
My boobs are 90% padded bra, but I have cellulite on my thighs. My stomach bloats badly due to IBS and it’s flabby due to having three kids. My attitude to body hair removal is a little lax. I’m not perfect. I’m a real woman.
But there’s another thing that bothers me. Most of these people celebrating their bodies in their underwear are much larger than me. They might be a 14 or an 18 or even bigger. It’s all about celebrating the curves. But I don’t have any curves to celebrate. By being thinner, am I letting down the side? Not actually a real woman – despite the flab and the unshaven legs?
If I was to bare (almost) all, would people think I was showing off?
So for all of those reasons, I have decided I’m just going to stay quietly body confident in my own little bubble. I don’t need to share pictures on social media. I will continue to shun bikinis, just because I don’t want to wear one, not because I worry what people will think of me.
And I will continue to admire all of those women who are either super-confident or super-brave in showing their bodies on social media. You are all doing a great job at normalising the many and varied shapes of mothers and grown women. And for that, I salute you!
What do you think? Are you brave enough to show your body on social media? Why?