First of all, personal PSA: If you post suggestive photos of whatever kind on your social media profile, I have zero issue with it – but more on that later.
I used to be a die-hard member of the #fitfam. Copious amounts of my limited spare time was spent in the gym, and just as much was spent in that all-important selfie mirror, twisting and contorting my body to get the perfect “progress photo” shot. Typically, in my underwear, sports bra, bikini, whatever. Straight up? I was half naked.
Each time I posted one of these shots, I would be hit with an initial shot of remorse – how disappointed would my parents be if they were to see this? I could vividly picture the crestfallen look that would come over my dads face if he were to witness his underwear-clad daughter, attempting to arch her back perfectly to parade her #humpday booty pic to the world. And that bugged me.
But, that nagging sense of shame was quickly flooded out as the likes and comments flowed in, masking any negative feelings that may have existed. The validation I received from random strangers camouflaged the truth – that I was unsure of who I was, and what is was that made me proud to be myself.
The thing was, and in terms of myself, the value placed on the external is so prevalent these days that it is hard to NOT focus on it. For me, it was a distraction technique, inhibiting me from deciphering the real attributes that contributed to my own self worth. Am I pretty? Sure. But beyond that, and what I am realizing is infinitely more important, is that I am kind, I am compassionate, I am mildly entertaining and I am unique. By making the focus of my social media my body, and putting out to that world that my barely-clothed self was my main point of allure, I was communicating that my self-worth was tied to my outward appearance – and that, for me, is simply not true.
As I stated in my introductory sentence, if you do this, truly, power to you. I am genuinely envious of those who can unabashedly lead with their sexuality, without a care in the world as to who thinks what of them. Those who can post a photo of their recently-squat-grown booty without that unnerving sense of uncertainty. That’s how it should be. You should be proud of your progress, you should be proud of your body. If posting that photo legitimately makes you feel good, post it.
I follow some extraordinary women on social media who post photos that could be perceived as suggestive daily – and I will never stop. I AM inspired by so many of these women who are doing it for the “right” reasons”. But what are the “right reasons”? I think the right reasons are any reason whatsoever, so long as it is true to you and what matters to you.
Some are empowered by modesty, and others are empowered by sexuality. Is one better than the other? Hell no. The real crime in all this naked-selfie posting rhetoric is the judgement so many of us so easily heave upon others.
Mind your own selfie, and shut up. If you don’t like, don’t look.
As for me, it took me to my mid-twenties to correctly identify who I was as a person, and what made me happy, what made me feel fulfilled and valued. Whether you know this or not, my personality is a bit more reserved, I am more comfortable with modestly, and I define my worth through other means. As I stated, I was never completely comfortable posting half-naked photos of myself, despite the dopamine rush that would come from the superficial approvals of likes and internet comments.
What I realized I loved was not necessarily the depth-less approval of my appearance and body, but the sense of community that came along with the #fitfam. I loved having an avenue to be able to support other women from all walks of life, and the feeling of their support back.
So bye bye, #fitfam, bye bye, nudie pics. You never made me feel at ease and never felt quite right. Picking up fashion blogging was my way of transitioning from one community to another, one that better aligns with who Morgan is.
Your life, your values, your choices. All I encourage is that you establish your personal values, and above all: Do. Not. Judge.
It took me 28 years, but I am finally getting comfortable with my inside – and as the comfort has set in, with it has come pride. Validation is a hell of a drug, but satisfaction in your own self-worth trumps all.