'What get posted vs. what doesn't': Influencer's post shows how bodies 'fluctuate'
Bree Lenehan is showing fans her outtakes.
On Monday, the body-championing influencer took to Instagram with a post comparing two side-by-side photos of herself at the beach, one posed and the other candid, giving her followers a candid look at "what gets posted" and "what doesn't."
She paired the photos with a powerful, body positive message, urging others not to compare or hold themselves to the unrealistic beauty standards that they may see on social media.
"Just a friendly reminder not to compare yourself to others. If you see someone at the beach online, you’re probably seeing their favourite photo out of hundreds (a.k.a. what the left photos represent)," she captioned the post. "But if you see them in real-time at the beach, you’d more likely see the right-side version."
Lenehan explained that bodies don't always appear firm and toned like they do in many people's photos.
"That’s because bodies move. They’re not always firm and toned-looking. They fluctuate, wobble, expand and look different under different lighting, poses and angles! I read recently that two of the most powerful words in the English language are 'I am.' Too often we go around hating on ourselves," she went on, pointing out that self-criticism only perpetuates insecurity.
"'I am: ugly... gross... a loner,' only to attract more of those horrible feelings of insecurity and unworthiness into our lives. As soon as you say 'I am' something, your brain cherry-picks evidence in your life to support that belief and disregards anything that doesn’t," Lenehan penned.
"You: 'I am unworthy of praise.' Your brain: 'Here are some real-life experiences that will prove that you are indeed unworthy of praise.' But if you affirm 'I am worthy of praise,' your brain and the lens in which you view the world will respond according to that," she continued. "The words you speak become the house you live in. So let’s talk ourselves up, shall we? If we don't believe in ourselves, who will? Being kind to yourself is a superpower. "
She added: "It’s easier said than done, but with time, it does become easier!"
The influencer's message was quickly met with warm comments from those who loved Lenehan's transparency and commitment to changing beauty standards.
"Thank you for sharing this and helping normalize normal bodies. The expectation that we need to look absolutely chiseled and toned and prim and perfect at all times is insane and unrealistic. More people need to see that even conventionally beautiful, thin, in-shape women can also appear 'imperfect' when they're relaxed or unposed," one Instagram user weighed in.
Another wrote: "I love you so much. Thank you!"
"Love you for these reminders and showing up for yourself and all of us," someone else shared.
"This means the world to me. It absolutely breaks my heart that the most common thing found on [Instagram] is lies, photoshop, abnormal beauty standards and always the good times while never addressing the bad times," another pointed out.
"Thank you for this. I'm gonna show it to my 12-year-old daughter. So important!" commented another.
This isn't the first time Lenehan has shared her body's fluctuations. In May, she shared a post opening up about how she started sucking in her stomach when she was just a child after her school teacher suggested she do more to fit in and make friends.
"I started sucking in my tummy when I was in year 5 (10-years-old). I vividly remember moving to a new school and struggling to make friends," she shared. "One day, I asked my teacher if I could stay in her classroom on my lunch break so that I didn’t have to sit on my own. My teacher told me, 'You need to try to fit in. Dress how they dress, act how they act, look how they look. You aren’t doing yourself any favours,' as she ogled at me and tapped her gut, sucking it in.
"I still don’t know whether she was telling me to stop slouching or if she really was telling me that I should hide my gut, but it didn’t matter," Lenehan continued. "Small experiences like that when we’re young (and a lot of the time in adulthood, too) have the ability to change the way we view ourselves."
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