“Body Goals”: Our Unhealthy Obession With Using This PhraseJanuary 25th, 2017
Type in “body goals” anywhere on social media and you’ll discover numerous pictures of women, either in bikinis or at the gym along with multiple love heart-eye emojis. They’ll have the stereotypical polished look we see all too often online, sculpted “toned” legs, washboard abs, a tiny waist and a desirable ratio of muscle and curves.
I have used this term before in the past, however I have a different perspective on it. I don’t believe the phrase is bad in itself, but the connotations behind it and the types of ‘goals’ I’ve witnessed people aspiring to, seem very dangerous and some-what self-destructive.
In short “body goals” is a term people use to express the type of physique or figure that someone is aspiring to achieve: A goal to have the body that someone else has, or similar to it. Whether it’s Beyonce or Kim Kardashian (good luck there). It’s become a thing.
I don’t think it’s wrong to admire another woman or man’s body, but I honestly think it’s detrimental to your own mental, and potentially physical health, to strive towards a goal that will never happen. Woah Mel…don’t destroy someone else’s dream,Â they might be working hard for it. I’m sure, however there are so many factors to take into consideration when it comes to wanting to have the same physical shape as another human being who; has a different genetic make up to you, isn’t your height, has a different diet to yours, may very well have had plastic surgery, uses photo-shop (game changer), is a completely different build to you and most importantly only snaps their best side (do you ever post your first selfie?…Why would they?)
The sole purpose of a “goal” is to reach it.
If there is no way on God’s green earth that you are going to achieve the body of your favourite Instagram fitness model or celebrity, you are not only setting yourself up for failure but punishing yourself. Does anyone remember those penny machines at the bowling alley? (Megabowl in Streatham…RIP, so many memories). In fact let me share the picture:
Bear with me, this does relate. So this devilish machine will have you thinking that if you slot in one, two or perhaps three of your own coins, that will be enough to push over the coins virtually ready to fall off the ledge. As a child I was so sure that my coins would cause the money toÂ come falling out, I’d keep submitting my coins. I had a lightbulb moment and decided to investigate…Why the hell are these coins not falling out?! I got on my knees and had a look at the ledge underneath. The very edge of the ledge was curved, almost like a bowl. Meaning they were being kept there and it would take a hell of a lot of money or would be virtually impossible, for all of the coins to drop out. I was infuriated – fraud. I lost so many 2pences over that machine.
A goal that is unattainableÂ is not a goal.
A fantasy, maybe,Â but it’s not something you yourself can obtain – do not put that pressure on yourself, it will ruin you. I’ve been there.
I’ve seen “ectomorph” females posting up pictures of typically “curvy” models online declaringÂ it’sÂ their goal for the Summer…How? I’ve also witnessed broader women posting up images of petite, athletic women labelled as “body goals”…How?
Why must your body goals be based on everyone under the sun and not you?
I had to unlearn the mindset and thought process that comes with having “body goals” and exchanged it for simply appreciating a range of body shapes and sizes we have all been blessed with, but more importantly I strive for my personal body goals which is the healthiest, fittest and strongest version of me. I don’t know what that looks like, I don’t have pictures of it, but I’m excited to be on this journey which doesn’t constantly remind me that I should look a certain way.
Don’t bully yourself.
Learn to appreciate what others have, but love what you have even more. Your own goals should be ones that are attainable. We often blame the media for being responsible for brainwashing us into thinking we should look a certain way, I still stand by this, but in a day and age where we are part of the media, we can choose who we follow online and what we consume. We must take responsibility for protecting our own self-esteem and in turn I think it will positively influence our outlook on life and more importantly how we see and treat ourselves.
What are your thoughts on the term “body goals”? Would love to know what you thinkÂ and how you practise self-love and acceptance.