Influencer and Body Positivity campaigner Megan Jayne Crabbe has a message for us all – don’t treat your body as fashionable or unfashionable.
Megan, who has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, has a few things to say…
“A trend is hard to resist… trust me, I’m a 90s kid.
One day, you’re going about your life, hair flowing in the breeze, not giving a single thought to that bucket hat you owned as a child. The denim one that flopped over your eyebrows everywhere you went.
And then, they’re everywhere. Patterned bucket hats. Fluffy bucket hats. PVC bucket hats.
It’s all likely happened because the celeb of the moment was spotted stepping out of their car, designer shoes on their feet, bucket hat on their head. A trend has been established.
Suddenly, they don’t look so cringe anymore. In fact, with the right outfit, in the right weather, a bucket hat might even look… good?
It’s hard to resist a trend. But it has to be said: some trends are more harmless than others. There’s a big difference between giving in to an accessory you never thought would be back in style, and trying to change your entire body based on whatever shape and size seems to be “in” right now.
If you asked a handful of people what the ideal body type for women has been for the last few years, they’d probably all describe something Kardashian-esque: big butt, tiny waist, perky boobs, slim everywhere else. But the beauty standard hasn’t been that way for long and it won’t stay that way for long, either.
In fact, even the famously curvy Kardashians have been noticeably shrinking lately – Kim prompted backlash after sharing the details of her recent rapid weight loss (to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress for this year’s Met Gala), and has even gone as far as sharing a full body scan showing the decrease in her body fat percentage.
When one of the most influential women on the planet drastically slims down, we could declare that “thin is back in” and set to changing our own bodies to follow the trend. Or, rather than hinging our self-esteem on whatever body type is trending right now, we could question why something as naturally varied as our bodies was ever turned into a “trend” in the first place?
Let’s not forget too that Kim often shares her experiences of beauty treatments (amounting to around £3000 some weeks) and private PT sessions at her home gym on Instagram and on her family TV show ‘The Kardashians’. This all costs thousands making it unattainable to most average women. We’re being set up for failure.
The reality is that the beauty standard is ever-changing. And when it comes to the ideal body, we can clearly see how trends have shifted over time.
In the 1920s, flappers wanted flatter chests and slim legs to dance the night away. In the 50s, women longed for Marilyn-inspired softness. In the 90s, Kate Moss became the face of “heroine chic” and there was no such thing as too thin.
With every decade there is a new trend, and endless products promising to help us get there.
Body trends aren’t really about beauty at all, they’re about profit. As long as we’re chasing a constantly evolving standard, we’re keeping the world’s biggest companies in business; the diet industry, the cosmetic surgery industry, the beauty industry – they all thrive every time the trend changes.
What doesn’t thrive is our self-esteem, our body image, and our bank accounts.
We strive to reach the new ideal – going on crash diets, ruining our relationship with exercise, zooming in on our supposed “flaws” and blaming ourselves when none of it seems to work. All for a made-up standard that will change again soon anyway.
Instead of buying into body trends and shaping our lives around them, what if we respected the fact that body diversity exists? That bodies are supposed to look different and that it’s absurd to expect all of us to fit into one narrow, exclusionary ideal?
What if we stopped idolising the celebrities who’ve made their fortunes by convincing us that the route to happiness is looking like them? What if we continued the progress we’ve seen in recent years towards body positivity and diverse representation of all kinds of bodies?
In fact, what if we celebrate ourselves – and everyone else – for the things that have nothing to do with our bodies? For our career achievements, or our kindness, or our creativity? There are millions of things more worthy of basing our self-esteem on than our size.
Bodies are not trends. They’re the vehicles that allow us to experience everything the world has to offer – and they deserve to be seen in all of their varied beauty: every size, shape, shade, age, gender, and ability.
If you really love following trends, that’s cool! I’m not here to stop you. But maybe try a bucket hat before you decide that your body is wrong.”