While we’ve made great strides as a culture toward body acceptance and body positivity in the media over the past few years, the pressure to meet unrealistic goals is still very much alive — thanks in no small part to the endless barrage of unrealistic celebrity bodies on Instagram and social media.
Not even the fittest among us are immune to feeling the pressure. In a recent eye-opening blog post titled Instagram is the new beauty standard, fitness guru Cassey Ho opened up about feeling discouraged in the face of the extra-large butts paired with tiny waists that flood our social media feeds.
Ho begins her post by explaining: “People used to get upset over magazine covers showing only thin, beautiful models and celebrities. Then we found out, ‘OMG, they photoshop the covers!’ Then this whole ‘body love, body positivity, body acceptance, anti-photoshop’ movement started.”
Enter Instagram. Ho explains that as “booty girls” and the Kardashians’ butts started getting more prevalent online (and bigger and bigger in size), she started to get more mean comments on her posts. People would post things like: “Why would I follow your butt workout if you don’t have one?”
And even though Ho has millions of followers, she, too, began to feel the pressure. “I began to feel bad about the way I looked because I was afraid my credibility would suffer. To be a fitness guru, am I now supposed to have a butt at the level of these booty girls for people to believe that my program works? How am I going to do that? I’ve squatted hundreds of pounds before during my body-building phase, and — at best — my glutes were a tiny bit lifted.”
In the face of such comments, Ho says she would remind herself that she does in fact have a fit body that’s right for her: “This is my real butt, a strong butt, and the butt my Asian genetics gave me. A majority of Asian people do not have big butts! It’s like us having black hair. We were born this way.”
Ho also discusses how important it is for us to differentiate between bodies that are enhanced from working out and bodies that are enhanced through plastic surgery. If you are looking to get the same results through fitness, those results just might not be possible.
While many of us know that the Instagram-famous are definitely not always achieving a tiny waist and big booty through fitness alone, the problem lies in the fact that many young girls don’t see a difference. Ho discusses the subject with a photo of Kylie Jenner in her post saying: “Real body? I think not. Her choice? Yes. How many young girls know that? A very small percentage. And that’s the scary part.”