When I first saw this picture, I hated it.

Look at how fat my belly looks, ugh, couldn’t I have stood up a little straighter? Pulled my navel to my spine a little bit better? But after staring at it a while, I got over myself and saw the joy in the photo. All of us, no matter what age, race or gender, are so pressured to look a certain way. And the worst part is we expect ourselves to look that same glamorous, amazing way from sun up to sun down day after day.

As we are bombarded with media images of perfect figures, flawless skin, amazing locations, and expensive purses, it can be hard to remember the reality: not only is the model’s hair, makeup, outfit, pose, and look styled by a team of professionals, but he or she is likely so airbrushed, digitized, and photoshopped that it creates an absolute false sense of reality.

I was in a class the other day and the instructor said something inspiring to me.  She said “Everyone tuck your chin just a little bit until you have a double chin. Everyone has one no matter how skinny you are.”

I have a round face just like my grandmother, and throughout my entire life I have thought double chins are the worst.  My great grandmother use to tap under her chin daily to get rid of the double chin. My mom grabbed mine once when I was in 4th grade and I was mortified (as if putting on weight before growing more than 6 inches in one year isn’t normal). I have, for years, hated at least half of the pictures taken of me because I perceive a double chin (even though likely no one else notices).

We are so hard on ourselves and our inner voice can be so cruel.

But do not be deterred, you exist as you are and that is enough.

Love the shape you are in, and you will always be just the right size.

Yep, love that double chin, that round belly, those flabby arms, and total lack of thigh gap. And who cares if you aren’t posed just right for the photo, or if you have acne? Find the joy in the present moment and the people you are blessed to spend it with. Here is the other thing, no one notices your flaws like you do. To you they are glaring and slapping you in the face; to others they are nonexistent.

Let’s all support one another with body positivity. Men and women come in all shapes and sizes and there is health to be found in people of almost every size. There is no perfect, there only is. So the next time you find yourself hating a photo of you, or taking the 30th selfie to make sure it is just right, stop and remind yourself that you are enough just as you exist. I will do the same… but I may still use that Snapchat pretty filter cause it is the bomb diggity.

Girl can’t be perfect. . .

For more body positivity, check out my blog post titled Knobby Knees and All!

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