Sailor Brinkley Cook is 21 years old, part of that youth generation which grew up entirely on the internet and in the middle of the social media revolution. But what strikes me, sometimes, is that the bullsh-t of life is the same for every generation. I’m two decades older than Sailor, but I can remember feeling exactly the way she described when I was a teenager – ashamed of my imperfect body, sick at the thought of not looking beautiful or perfect or whatever. I compared myself to the girls in magazines. Sailor compares her body to the Instagram models. It’s all the same. This is what she posted:
I’m so f–king sick and tired of the photoshop… I’ve been so down on myself recently. Crying about my cellulite, letting the fat on my body ruin my day, getting mad that i’m not as skinny as i once was. The body dysmorphia and left over eating disorder tendencies have been coming in strong. As i come into myself as a young woman my body shifts and changes by the month, the “control” i felt i once had over it has been completely stripped away from me. Hormones, emotions, growing pains.
I go on instagram and scroll through photos of girls that look “perfect”.. shiny skin with not a bump to be seen, tiny little waist and thighs that look like chopsticks. And i compare myself, as if how someone on an app on my phone looks should directly correlate to how I feel about my body? What I’ve learned is that I run every day. I go to the gym 6 times a week. I fuel my body with beautiful food.
I am so f–king LUCKY to have two legs and a healthy body that takes me through life. I’m so tired of thinking anything that makes up ME is something to be ashamed of. So as most 21st century girls would do, I’m putting this out there on instagram. Declaring that I have cellulite, and a stomach that doesn’t always look “pleasant” (whatever the f-ck that means) and I am 100% imperfect human. And I’m proud as hell of my body! If you’re out there hating on yourself, stop!! Appreciate yourself. You’re body is so magical. That’s all. Have a nice day.
It’s so hard to fight through body dysmorphia. It’s so hard to sit back and be self-aware of the shame spiral you’re on about your body. And there really is no answer other than doing the work in therapy and just learning to accept your body, flaws and all. Of course, I can’t help but notice that Sailor actually is the “ideal”: blonde, thin, tall, beautiful. Even young, beautiful women feel like their body isn’t enough. It just… sucks. The only thing I can say is that once your hormones calm down a bit in your 20s, you do stop comparing yourself to whatever impossible standard is being idealized at the moment. But even then, I still shame-spiral at my age too. Ladies, let’s give ourselves a break.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram.