Setting Realistic Expectations
I don’t know if this is going to be a controversial blog post, I don’t want it to be, but at the same time it annoyed me so I wanted to voice my opinion.
I saw this link regarding Vicky Pattinson apparently breaking down on Loose Women over vile trolling of her body.
I want to set the record clear here, I do not, under any circumstances, condone body shaming. Unless we are perfect, and no one is, then we have no right to pass judgement on another person. There is no such thing as perfection. As long as you are comfortable in your own skin, that is all that matters, and it’s how everyone should be. I have a real, ongoing issue with my body, and it’s my own demons to face, so any comment – people telling me I’ve gained weight and look better for it, people telling me I’m getting too skinny – are all damaging. You have no idea what your comments may mean to someone, so always think before you speak.
For a bit of background information, back in 2014 Vicky Pattison lost a lot of weight, she went from a size 16 to a size 6 purely through hard work and eating healthily – no fads, no starving herself – and I think this is the only way to lose weight and maintain. Since then, there has literally been article after article focussing on Vicky’s weight; She’s gained some lbs! She’s lost some lbs! Look at how toned she is! Look at her muffin Top! Vicky has bounced back from each, and whenever there has been a noticeable weight gained she’s put it down to work commitments and worked it off once again.
It was only when I saw a picture that she had put up on Instagram, and then a picture I saw in the flesh (there is an article here) that I noticed a difference in how she was putting herself across in the ‘social media’ world, and the ‘real’ world. I do believe there was a lot of editing involved, I think we all do it to make an image look better. We edit pictures so the colours are brighter, there’s less shadows and we erase a spot or two if we like a selfie – so we shouldn’t, and I don’t, pass judgement on that.
HOWEVER, the issue that I have with (not just Vicky Pattinson), but with a lot of reality ‘stars’ in general, is this almost distorted reality that is shown on social media channels. I feel like many have put themselves on a pedestal which they feel like they can’t ever fall off of, and by doing this, if they do ever accidentally fall of the bandwagon, the backlash is more intense.
When Vicky gained weight, she said she was just ‘enjoying herself’, and then when she lost weight, she said she had ‘never felt happier’. I find it a bit of a contradiction. I know my weight fluctuates, if I’m busy and can’t get to the gym or eat properly, my weight is obviously going to suffer for it, if I put hard graft into my workouts and diet, I’ll tone up, it’s a natural thing for your body to fluctuate.
However, if I was putting out pictures of myself looking lean, and in the flesh it wasn’t the same, I would expect people to be surprised. If I’m constantly pushing an active lifestyle, which includes my own range of fitness products, and I’m then saying I can’t get to the gym due to work, I’m going to expect people to be a bit confused.
I’m only focussing on Vicky Pattinson here because she was most recent, but this has also happened to other reality stars such as Ferne McCann, who was accused of heavy editing in underwear advertisements and stated the brand was in control of it all. Although, multiple snaps of these images were flashed across her own personal channels with no disclaimer. These two articles came out on the same day in December last year, with one focusing on Ferne McCann stating she will ‘always promote being natural’ with the other saying she ‘admits to retouching social media snaps’. How does that work? I work in media, I know words are twisted and things are taken out of context but seriously, which one is right?
I think, and this is just my opinion, that there is more of an impact from reality stars because the general public, and young girls in particular in this case, find these ‘stars’ more relatable. These are just normal women from Essex/ Newcastle who have managed to achieve major body results through hard work. The likes of Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba will always be #bodygoals to me, but I know they have trainers and chefs and regimes that I just can’t stick to in my everyday ‘normal’ life. The reality ‘stars’ that live down the road from you, shop at the same places as you and might even go to the same gym as you? Yes, we can try to copy their lifestyles to also achieve the results they have.
By being honest, and putting their hands up to admit they’re having a cheat meal or fat day (I find Lucy Mecklenburgh does this a lot) makes me feel like these people are more relatable. There are days when I stuff chips in my mouth by the caseload, there are days when I’m happy chowing down on a colourful salad. I’m a firm believer that a healthy lifestyle is all about balance and we can’t all be on it 24/7/365.
The argument of the social media world vs the real world constantly raises its ugly head, and in a way I wish people would just start being honest with their lives again. You can view articles on this subject here, here and here to name just a few. I can’t help but feel slightly less sympathetic towards people who put across a lifestyle filled with health and fitness and when they are caught out, can’t understand why people are reacting. Unfortunately, there are always going to be people who will judge negatively, those people are often the worse for personal insecurities, but I can’t help that feel that some reactions are from people who feel cheated out of a realistic dream. Some food for thought.
My only suggestion is that people need to start making realistic expectations for themselves. Who cares if someone has lost 10lbs on a specific diet/ plan and you don’t have the same results? Our own bodies differ to everyone else’s. There are so many things to consider before starting a new diet/fitness plan, and because some people make massive body transformations look so easy, we all expect it to be. Set yourself realistic goals. Up your gym attendance by a week, swap one of your sugary snacks for some fruit, run for an extra five minutes today, and build on these goals, rather than setting a weight loss of 50lbs and beating yourself up when you’re unable to hit in 30 days or whatever the fads are saying.
Thanks for reading,