Swimsuit fitting: why we need to stop feeling wrong


The comparison with social media can be merciless, even for those who – like me – consider themselves a true champion of Body Positivity. A healthy contact with reality, however, can really work wonders: this is my experience.

Sometimes it is not easy to realize how social media can influence the perception we have of ourselves. And, never as in this case, I really speak from experience. Yes, because it happened to me too. Although I always try to recognize the right messages, the real bodies compared to those modified by the Instagram filters and, above all, not to let myself be influenced by what I see on social networks, this time I fell for it. I know perfectly well that what I see scrolling through my feed is, very often, far from reality and that my value as a person cannot and must not be conditioned by what I observe online. Important awareness, of course, but not so easy to put into practice, especially when it comes to the costume fitting. No matter how confident you are, social media can play tricks on you. Even to the most avid supporters of Body Positivity.

The first costume fitting: a disaster

I never thought I could be influenced by social media, especially when it comes to my appearance. At least until it was time to put on the costume. I admit it: it was a disaster. I hadn’t realized how much months spent in front of social networks – also thanks to restrictions and lockdowns – had influenced my perception of myself. I found myself alone, in my garden, with only Instagram to judge me: the result was merciless. In fact, I was able to find only and exclusively defects in my body. In some cases, the years spent building one’s own security matter little: it is like looking at oneself in a distorting mirror, where nothing is as it “should be”. Not to mention a hypothetical ideal weight. I found myself completely entangled in the inability to see my body as it was, but only for what I believed it should be.

The contact with reality to really appreciate yourself

It took an afternoon with friends to – literally – get back in touch with reality. Leaving the house and finally finding myself in contact with real people and real bodies was like “coming out of a cave”. I rediscovered the normality of my physicality, managing to get out of the cocoon of insecurity and little self-esteem in which I was wrapping myself. Making comparisons has become superfluous, useless: seeing casual girls and boys in their own shoes was the best medicine. The comparison with the variety of physicality has highlighted the absolute normality of my body. And it was through the comparison with others that I realized I was full of strengths and weaknesses, just like every other person on the lake shore. It was a real enlightenment, which made me smile again and, above all, allowed me to appreciate my body in every little detail, including extra pounds.

And now? New awareness after the costume test

Can I say that I am finally immune to the lure of social media? Probably not, but I feel much more confident. Paradoxically, it was the confrontation with reality that helped me find a new way of seeing myself. Alongside real girls and boys, I finally forgave myself the slight water retention that occasionally peeps on my thighs and even the little rolls that appear on my belly when I sit down. And it was just as I was finding a way to be more forgiving of myself that I realized just how much the combination of being alone and social is deleterious and can really alter the way we look at ourselves. Confronting with the parallel and deceptive reality of social media, in fact, returns a distorted truth. And that doesn’t do justice to our worth as people. Or to our body which, among the many defects that we can find, certainly has the great advantage of allowing us to enjoy an afternoon in the sun. Without paranoia.

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