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Women Empowerment Doesn’t Always Come From Empowering Women

There’s a lot of noise today, so much so that most of it gets grouped together. As a woman, and as a feminist, I struggle with the validation given to the increasingly common behavior seen on social media that is quite the opposite of the feminist movement—yet marketed close by the women empowerment rhetoric. It’s not breaking news that the term Instagram model has become a common marker and—in some cases—an income-based career. While supporting females’ sexuality and ownership over their own bodies, I don’t accept using your body for the response of idolatry.

As a young person that uses social media in moderation, I’ve been repeatedly turned off by the surplus of self-proclaimed influencers that use feministic ideologies to display the complete opposite.

Body positivity is not the same as body obsession—for any gender.

As social media filters became the latest ask and desire from plastic surgery, nudists became influencers, reality stars became famous, and teenagers bypassed those awkward years with edits and enhancements.

Now, we have several women in power that are not only abusing said power—but are also rationalizing their outward obsession by exploiting the fight towards gender equality.

As a result, we have young people trying to mirror what they see online, changing everything about them before they’ve had a fair chance to accept their purest self. Rather they are manipulated to change, matching what’s promoted as perfect while abandoning their uniqueness.

I don’t mean to say this is how it is for everyone, because it’s not. There are great activists, leaders, and role-models worthy of their power that their voice has been given. But there’s a heavy imbalance of people who rely on your compliance to praise them, with the demand that you’ll obey until your last breath.

And it’s hard to pull it apart, especially when it mostly gets pushed together.

Know that there is a giant difference between sharing yourself to relate and connect with others—and sharing yourself to only elevate yourself above others.

Body obsession encourages self-obsession, and today, it’s celebrated more than it should be.

But why is it celebrated? That’s the larger issue.

A majority of supporters are faceless predators, grateful for the organized overflow of near-naked images available at no cost, constantly refreshed, with no repercussions for what they do with these photos.

We have underdeveloped adolescent brains ingesting this as normal behavior, making every effort to replicate and improve.

We have even more people idolizing the concept of perfection—looks, lifestyle, and income.

But what I think we aren’t always cognizant of, is that this toxic input produces a similar output.

Let me make one thing clear—my intention is not to put people down—I intend only to encourage the mass majority to lift themselves up and modify how much influence they allow into their lives.

We’ve got to stop following people—both figuratively and literally—that encourage people to change everything about themselves, from virtual comparison.

Instead of wishing for the starved body of a Kardashian—scroll through iWeigh and think of how you can implement self-acceptance and self-love into your life.

Instead of buying that product that a bachelor contestant swears by—donate that money to a charity like St. Jude with the only, and consistent motive of helping sick kids with cancer and alleviating their families of a financial burden.

Instead of liking that photo of that seemingly perfect body—go dance to your favorite song, naked in front of the mirror, like nobody is watching.

Instead of ordering that detox supplement—go eat a piece of pizza and enjoy every second with no shame.

Instead of complaining about that destination you want to visit that is mocking you on social media—make an action plan of how you’re going to go and see it for yourself.

Instead of choosing to inject lip fillers, botox, or any other normalized surgery into your body—live in the moment and accept each stage—and age of your life. Don’t conform so that you can look like everyone else. Love every experience of your evolution.

Rebel, so that you can look exactly like you.

There’s only one of you—so let the change come gradually and naturally into your life.

The only influence you need is the voice you know best—your voice.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

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About the author
Order my book "Put The Damn Phone Down" available now on Amazon. Follow Alyssa on Instagram or read more articles from Alyssa on Thought Catalog.

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