Embracing body positivity: a flat stomach doesn’t equal happiness

It's time to have a discussion about the toxicity of social media influencers and their strong hold on the younger generation.


Kim Kardashian caused quite a stir on social media this past week with an Instagram post of her promoting appetite suppressing lollipops. The Kardashians are well-known for their innovation and knack for keeping themselves relevant—whether it’s good or bad. However, this sparked an outrage that perhaps has been long overdue.


Existing in the Instagram era, we’ve become accustomed to seeing picture perfect people living it up on an exotic island every other week and showing off a lifestyle most of us could only dream of. Many social media influencers flock to Instagram, most of the time depending on their following and opportunities for promoting different products.

These so-called “flat tummy teas” and “appetite suppressant lollipops” have become a norm on everyone’s Instagram feed, incessantly being promoted by Instagram famous figures because they all depict what we think we so desperately want—to be thin. It’s a toxic subject, the idea that being skinny could solve all our problems. We could finally be happy as long as we’re 30 pounds lighter, right?

Social media is more prevalent than ever—it’s almost like an episode of Black Mirror, we become obsessed with looking our best, showing off our most picturesque side that it’s practically superficial. Unrealistic lifestyles, body types and diets are what plague every corner of the media—forming a possibly dangerous lens for younger generations to look through.

We’re exposed daily to what we could look like, what we could be if we just worked a bit harder—maybe even tried that magical “flat tummy tea” that every Instagram model seems to endorse. But the real question is—why are we suddenly reduced to our mere weight? Why is it something we needlessly obsess over?

While social media can be an unhealthy place especially for a young mind still trying to figure out who they are, there is still the chance of scrolling through Twitter and finding countless body positive posts, cheering on the chubby, curvy, even fat individuals embracing their bodies. It’s refreshing to find people accepting and motivating those who didn’t quite have the confidence to expose themselves in such a vulnerable way. But the body positive fad doesn’t stretch much beyond the small bubble of social media activists—it’s the real world that will take a bit longer to convince.

Commercials, billboards, magazines and any other type of publication advertise a type of beauty that’s only attainable if you’re one size—thin. There’s progression here and there—companies like Aerie, Nike, Forever 21, ASOS have all released plus size lines and featured plus-sized models in their campaigns. But there needs to be more—plus size needs to become the norm because it is the norm.

We have to normalize the idea of stretch marks, rolls, thick thighs and curves—it’s not a crime to not be the perfect weight because more than likely that “perfect weight” isn’t perfect for you. At what age did we suddenly decide we needed to be skinny in order to be beautiful? It’s not something we engraved in our minds on our own—if there was no idealistic image of what “beautiful” meant then we’d all just be happy with what we saw in the mirror.

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