According to my sources (the internet), we each see around 5,000 adverts a day. Some people even say it can be anywhere up to 10,000! Now, imagine how many of those adverts feature ‘perfect’ toned, slim, hairless bodies. A lot, is my highly scientific estimate. So, is it any surprise that we start to wonder why we don’t or can’t look like them?

Most models in magazines don’t have tummies that pop out over the top of their jeans or stubbly legs or spots, so we question why we do. We look in the mirror and make a beeline for our supposed flaws. It’s easy to say, ‘love your body!’ but let’s face it, we’ve pretty much been conditioned not to. Not cool.

So, if sometimes you don’t feel 100% smiley, happy, positive about every inch of your body, you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re just feeling something that’s totally normal to feel. You don’t have to be a body positivity role model every hour of the day. You can, however, remind yourself of all the other reasons to love your body that aren’t about appearance and show yourself a little extra appreciation when you really need it. Ready? Love incoming…

1. You can dance

It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a full-on Beyoncé routine or waving your arms around in dangers of having someone’s eye out, dancing is basically one of the best things we can do with our bodies. I like to do very uncool dance moves around my kitchen when I’m cooking but it doesn’t matter how you do it – standing, sitting in a chair, spinning on your head – if you can dance, it’s a gift.

2. You can basically grow a winter coat

If I see another razor advert in which a woman shaves her already hairless legs, I’m going to scream “WOMEN HAVE BODY HAIR!” out of my window. Surely they’d sell more razors if they showed their blades are capable of shaving a grizzly bear or something? Anyway, advertisers might like to pretend that we’re mythical, hairless creatures but we’re not and it’s actually super useful. I mean, you’ve literally got a built-in winter layer just ready to go.

3. You can enjoy tasty food

It doesn’t matter whether your stomach is flat or round or soft or tanned or bloated; the main thing is that it’s the place where food goes. And food is delicious. Of course, not everyone has a straightforward, healthy relationship with food and it often goes hand in hand with body image. But ultimately food is there to enjoy so shake off any guilt and relish every gooey pizza, crunchy carrot and brain-freezing ice cream.

4. You can heal

Is it only me that finds it amazing that we can literally heal? We can fall over and slice our leg open on a stone and then a few weeks later, it looks like it never happened. Or you can break a bone in two and then it just goes right ahead and knits itself back together! Some people might call it basic biology but I’m calling it what it really is: magic.

5. You can do (almost) impossible things

Once upon a time, I couldn’t pick a barbell that equalled half my body weight up off the floor. A few months later, I was lifting more than my bodyweight. A whole me plus a bit more! Forget having smooth legs or poreless skin, thanks to our bodies we can lift heavy weights, climb up mountains, race for miles and miles, swim down rivers, go really fast and break records. Our bodies can adapt to huge changes and still, we can keep going and doing the nearly impossible.

6. You can be creative

Do you knit? Paint? Sculpt? Play an instrument? Say a little thank you to your body. I’m grateful that my fingers are nimble enough to crochet scarves and blankets. Maybe you’re grateful that you’ve got arms strong enough to play the drums or steady hands that can create detailed drawings. Maybe you hold a brush between your toes and paint amazing portraits. However you use your body to be creative, it’s one of the best tools you have, so show it some love.

7. You’re different to everyone else

The thing about lean, airbrushed legs, perfectly flat stomachs and big, bouncy, curly hair is that it all looks the same. Ok, you could try and look like that if you really wanted to but the truth is you’re probably much more interesting. People have scars that tell stories, disastrous haircuts, and asymmetrical features. Our bodies aren’t there to be a vision of perfection; they’re individually wonderful in endless, completely different ways.

@SophieBenson_

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Image: Amber Griffin

Have you ever gone to post something on Instagram but had second thoughts? Maybe because you’ve seen your best friends’ latest selfies or that celeb you love’s holiday snaps and worried that your hastily-snapped photo of your favourite old trainers doesn’t quite live up to them? Or maybe it’s because what you actually want to post is something about how scared and alone you feel at the moment, but you don’t think it’ll fit among all the happy, shiny photos on your feed. Or maybe you want you friends to know that you’re feeling crappy but not necessarily the whole world, y’know? You just might not want to share everything with everyone.

You, my friend, need a finstagram.

A finstagram is a second, locked Instagram account that you only let your close friends see. It’s like those alt Twitter accounts that everyone was making a few months ago; it gives you all the fun of the platform without any of the pressure that comes with having the world and their incredibly photogenic pets (seriously, when did everyone get a French bulldog or a floppy-eared spaniel?!) snooping on what you’re doing. People use them for funny screenshots of WhatsApps, ugly selfies, outfits they aren’t sure about, stuff that they care about that’s not ‘polished’ enough for Instagram, or even posts about how sad or stressed they are. Basically, anything that you don’t want on your public account because those are generally used for fun things, cool things and, let’s be honest, showing off a bit.

So what do we think of finstas? A lot of people are freaking out about them. They say it’s really bad that we are so obsessed with having a perfect persona that we put anything flawed on a secret account, and that they’re proof we’re all going to hell in a vain, self-obsessed handcart. And yeah, there are serious issues around the pressure people are feeling because of social media that need to be addressed, and no-one should be made to feel lesser-than because of the things they see online.

But also, I kind of love finstagrams. I love places that people can go to bitch and moan and be silly and test things out before they unleash them on the real world. I certainly don’t think that the existence of a finstagram makes a public Instagram account less “real”. It’s basically you at the end of year party vs you at a sleepover with your girls; there are some things you just don’t share with people who aren’t your BFFs.

People contain multitudes. Sometimes you’re the showy, glossy, perfect person that’d be on an Instagram account, and sometimes you’re a weepy mess with ice-cream stains down your t-shirt and deely boppers on, and that’s okay. I think it’s naive to assume that anyone is their true, authentic, 100% flawed self all the time, whether that’s online or in real life. Surely it’s better to have a place online to be that hot mess than it is to have nowhere online where you can exist without bringing your shiniest A-game?

If you want to get a finstagram, go right ahead. It can be a good place to express yourself in a world where sometimes it feels like no-one can be less than the 100 emoji all the time. Just remember that the you on your finstagram is as worthwhile as the you on your public profile, and you’ll be fine.

@jimsyjampots

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Header: YouTube/SheKnows

It’s here! The best holiday of the year. Seriously, Easter is the ideal holiday, there’s none of the pressure of Christmas, none of the outfit stress of Halloween and none of the pressure of New Year’s Eve. It’s the Chris Pratt of holidays, but with delicious snacks.

Here’s everything we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Could we *be* more excited?

Pretty much as soon as the final episode of Friends aired and we watched the six of them (plus a few babies) wander down to Central Perk for the last time, people were clamouring for a reunion. And now they’ve got it. Sort of. According to The Independent, there’s an off-Broadway musical coming to New York later this year called Friends! The Musical, written by Bob and Tobly McSmith who have written similar musicals for 90210 and Full House. The show will feature songs such as ‘The One Where We Make A Million Dollars An Episode,’ ‘The Only Coffee Shop in New York,’ ‘Oh. My God. It’s Janice!’. We’ll be there for you…if we can get free flights and accommodation in New York.

This idea has legs

Yoga teacher, Shea penned a love letter on her Instagram account, @shastavibes. But it’s not to a her partner or her crush, she’s written a love letter to her thighs. Turns out, poking them and wishing they miraculously become smaller is stupid and also, might lead to bruising. Instead, why not join Shea and the body positivity movement that seems to be growing more and more brilliant everyday. Kudos Shea, and kudos to your thighs too.

Dear Thighs, "I’m in love with you, every inch, every lump all the way up from my knees to my rump" You may not be slender, or tanned, or smooth, but you’re up for the challenge when I start to move you power through squats, lunges, and stairs, and you don’t seem to mind when some people glare" ..✏️📓 ____________________________________________________ This whole journey to body acceptance and self-love is kind of a roller coaster, but an exciting one that I’m gonna keep riding. Each day I am learning that my self-worth is based less on what others think and more on how I feel. And lately, I feel really good. I was realizing today that my body is becoming less of an object of comparison in my mind, and more of a tool. My body is a method of accomplishing day to day things and that’s it. So far it’s doing a damn good job. In fact, it rarely lets me down. So for that reason alone, I should be completely in love with it. So to my thighs and all my other perfectly strong and functional body parts, thank you for getting shit done. <3 #postpartumfitness #postpartumbody #thickfit #thunderthighs #plussize #thickwomen #thickyogi #melanin #blackyogasuperstars

A post shared by Shea (@shastavibes) on

We Read Too

Kaya Thomas, a university student in the State was tired of not seeing enough people of colour or women in tech in books. So, like a boss, she decided to do something about it. She’s created an app called We Read Too which features over 600 books with main characters who are people of colour or women in tech. The idea, design and coding are all her own, NBD. When you spoke to Teen Vogue about why she thinks this project is so important she explained, “It’s for those of who want young people of color to be exposed to books where they seem themselves reflected in the characters and the authors. But it’s also for people who want to be exposed to different cultures than their own…I think fiction especially helps you get a better understanding of another person’s story, and that helps you build empathy.” Aaaaaand download.

Orange is the New Black Season Five Trailer

The trailer for Season 5 of Orange is the New Black has dropped and urgh, now it’s just left us with more questions. It picks off where season four ended, with Daya pointing a gun at CO Humphrey’s head with the rest of the inmates screaming at her to shoot him. Then, because the people who make trailers are evil geniuses, the screen goes black and you hear a gunshot and everyone screams. So. Much. Intrigue. Season Five will be released on Friday June 9th, and apparently will take place “in real-time over the course of three days”. Urgh, only 56 days to wait.

Baby, put your hands up. Literally.

Look, this isn’t really news. But it’s adorable and it’s Easter and so we’re going to throw it in anyway.

Have a lovely Easter x

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

We’ve had Galentine’s Day where we celebrate why we love our girls, and we’ve had Valentine’s Day where we celebrate why we love our crushes, but now it’s time for us to celebrate why we love ourselves! Here are six reasons why you should start loving yourself, like, right now.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.