Why We Are All “Body Goals”

Photo by Chrissie Huang

It is that time of the year again – when the weather starts to get a little warmer, the sun begins to shine once again and online shopping is basically consumed by the newest and hottest swimwear for the upcoming season. But, the picture perfect, “insta-goals” spring expectations have the ability to cloud a woman’s judgement on what her body should look like as summer time approaches.

Social media has become an obsession for pretty much anyone who is constantly glued to their phone. The effects media can have on a person’s mental and physical health is more powerful and consuming then one may think. According to NEDA, “Numerous correlational exposures and experimental studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal in mass media to body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal and disordered eating habits among many women.”

Social media glorifies women, such as Alexis Ren, who makes a living off of traveling the world and modeling for companies like Brandy Melville, Adidas and Calvin Klein and then posting pictures of herself in these brands across the globe. Young women around the world have become obsessed with the twenty year-old star and deem her as having obtained the ultimate “body goals.” But, what does that do to a girl’s mentality when she begins to think her body does not fit societies standards of what a body should look like?

Valley wants to stress the importance of body positivity, self love and acceptance. Even the women who seem the most confident through the lens of their social media persona sometimes struggle with the idea of the so-called perfect body image many of us have come to know and resent.

In her recent cover shoot for Vogue, Selena Gomez opened up about her own personal struggles with anxiety, depression and her mental health under the social media spotlight. Gomez discussed how everyday, people would tell her who and what she should be, how she should look and what path she should head down next in order to maintain her status. After all, she is the most followed person on Instagram.

But, Gomez stated that the pressure started to get too much, and she believed it was time to start doing something about not only her persona, but the persona of women in general when it comes to their bodies.

“We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back; the girl who’s down,” says Gomez. “We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”

Everyone here at Valley wants to remind you that you are beautiful in every way, shape and form. The number on the tag of your shorts, shirts and dresses does not define who you are as a person. Rock that body of yours this coming season, and know that you are your own definition of “body goals.”

If you or a friend is beginning to show signs of an eating disorder, anxiety or depression, CAPS and the student health center are always available to help.

Please call 1-877-229-6400 for the CAPS crisis hotline or call 814-863-0395 for their main line.