Behind the Filter: Some Thoughts on Body Image and Social Media

body image

Glamour Magazine decided to praise some of their favorite “plus size” stars in their latest issue.

They included Amy Schumer on this list.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Schumer’s body, let me just insert a photo here:

amy schumer


Oh, and guess where that photo is from? GLAMOUR MAGAZINE. How they can feature that photo in one issue and then refer to that same person as plus size in another is beyond me.

Let me also inform you that Schumer herself has said she varies between a size six and a size eight in women’s clothing. SIX and EIGHT. Since when are those plus sizes?!

In case you think I just scour the pages of magazines looking to catch the writers in a snafu like this, I actually heard about this from Schumer herself via Instagram. She snapped a photo of the blurb with this caption:

“I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women…I go between a size 6 and an 8. @glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size…not cool Glamour.”

Obviously this faux pas represents a MUCH bigger issue. I’m not vilifying Glamour. I’m not going to boycott the magazine. The thing is, this represents just another day as a woman in America.

While the openness of the posts and photos I share on my blog and social media pages may lead you to believe that I am extremely comfortable with myself and my appearance, a closer look might tell you otherwise. As I revealed in my body image post during my diabetes series, it has taken a lot of time and effort to get to where I am – and it is still a daily battle.

I am totally guilty of comparing myself to others in an unhealthy way. Social media has made it far too easy for us to compare ourselves to everyone else, but we often forget that the posts that flood our feeds are carefully curated. Just as you choose the best photos of yourself to post on your Instagram or Facebook and painstakingly decide on the most flattering filter, almost everyone on your feed is doing the same. The difference is that you are comparing your natural self to their edited self.

I recently had a little pity party for myself to my mom, complaining that I put in so much effort into just preventing myself from gaining weight, while all these other girls were losing or maintaining their tiny selves so effortlessly.

First of all, who am I to say that their journey is effortless? Just as I have an invisible illness that causes my weight gain, everyone else has something invisible that they deal with.

Second of all, as my mom is always quick to question, does being “skinny” make them happier? Are they better people for it? Does losing a few pounds change them into kinder, smarter individuals?

The answer, of course, is no.

I know just as well as anyone that blog posts and articles like the one I’m currently writing are just words. They may inspire us and wake us up in the moments after we read them, but then our insecurities inevitably come creeping back in.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to change our ways.

Let’s keep reminding ourselves that we are strong, beautiful and unique, no matter how much we weigh or what size clothing we wear.

Let’s remind each other that, too.

Let’s try to remember that the seemingly flawless images we are flooded with day after day don’t tell us the whole story.

Finally, let’s remember that this is our journey, and the only person we should strive to be is a more confident version of ourselves.

Colorfully Yours,


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