body love
Jade Small
Jade Small
February 1, 2024 ·  7 min read

Women Are Posting Unfiltered Pictures To #NormalizeNormalBodies

How often have you found yourself flicking through Instagram, seeing photos of women who look like absolute goddesses? Perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect teeth. Often, standing on some idyllic beach or, in a penthouse, overlooking the city. And then you find yourself saying, “Why don’t I look like that“? The issue is, we forget these are not unfiltered pictures taken at the right time, place, and angle (not to mention a little help from photoshop). Most of these women we compare ourselves to have professionals helping them obtain the unobtainable. Be it because they have people doing their hair and make-up or because they have photoshopped themselves into someone who would be unrecognizable in real life.

This unachievable goal people have created is slowly destroying us all. Especially young, impressionable girls who don’t realize the girls they wish to emulate don’t look like this in real life.

But, there is hope for those of us with less than perfect bodies and unfiltered pictures.

The #NormalizeNormalBodies movement on Instagram and on TikTok was started by Mik Zazon. Consequently, The hashtag has gone viral and is helping regular women and girls all over the world realize that they are not alone, and the perfect unfiltered pictures they see online, are not always what they seem.

Women online are sharing their unfiltered pictures and inspiring others

unflitered pictures
This is your reminder not to punish your body for enjoying food after a holiday

We deserve a break.

We deserve to enjoy our food without guilt – no matter what we look like.
So here’s to loving ourselves and food and not letting it define our worth
The day that I created the #normalizenormalbodies movement, and little did I know that it would start a movement to connect stories from all over the world.

This photo is one that i will cherish for the rest of my life.
The narrative that you have to be loved by someone else to determine how important you are, is normal…we are humans who seek for love, but that shouldn’t make us feel like s**t.

I let that narrative control 1 day and it affected the rest 364 days and I thought that it was because I didn’t demonstrate enough my love to others. So one day I decided to give what I wanted to have to someone else…but never got it back. And that was my mistake. Expecting a reciprocal love from someone when I needed to give that love to myself first.

We like them but we don’t need flowers, chocolates or gifts to know that someone is thinking about us…and YOU are someone

We all need to work together to create a culture of women who love ourselves and our bodies. These unfiltered images are doing exactly that!

I started photography partially because I’m a control freak and partially because I felt that I would never belong in front of the camera. I default to a lot of similar positions because I’m new to this, and my body doesn’t move the same way as others. Learning to feel comfortable expressing myself, especially as I collaborate with and learn from others, has been so fun.

The reality is that I have mobility limitations, and certain poses are painful or not possible. I’m trying to focus on the ones that are, and make them unique to me. Aaaand for some reason, this weird flamingo pose is one of them
We can respect our reflection without loving it.
We can respect our reflection without feeling joy for it.
We can respect our reflection while struggling with it.
Respect should come FIRST…
Respect it with kind words.
Respect it with rest.
Respect it with clothes that fit instead of squeezing it into clothes that don’t.
Respect it with movement.
Respect it with nourishing foods and water.
How are you respecting your body this week?
unfiltered pictures
Love yourself, your normal rolls (you know your skin), and remember to stop comparing yourself to anyone

The movement of sharing unflitered pictures is proving that none of us are as perfect as social media may make it seem!

Accordingly, it is about cutting through digital illusions and getting straight to the truth. So, the trend is gaining more and more traction with each unfiltered picture that is shared. Certainly helping thousands of women around the world truly love themselves again.

unfiltered pictures
Your GOAL WEIGHT is not always your HEALTHY WEIGHT.
I often get asked how I became comfortable with my WEIGHT, with my BODY. How I stopped restricting. How I began eating. How I let myself slide into swimsuits and shorts and didn’t pick apart the cellulite, the stretchmarks, the soft folds that slunk over seams.
These questions are coming in more right now, as so many of us are home, slowing down, sliding into our thoughts.

And like SELF LOVE itself, the answer is complicated.
Because those thoughts never entirely go away. They’re part of being human.

Yet BODY ACCEPTANCE isn’t about always feeling only sunshine and rainbows.
It’s about feeling what I feel, but knowing in the same breath that my BODY says nothing about my WORTH as a woman.
That no matter WHAT, I deserve to EAT.
That I can have fitness goals, but they should come from a place of LOVE, not of punishment or restriction.

And that a NUMBER on a SCALE can not, should not EVER define or control me. Even if it once did. Even if once it was all I thought about for days on end.
So here’s a little reminder for any of you struggling right now with the urge to diet or shrink or minimize all that you are:
Know that incredible GOALS can have NOTHING TO DO with WEIGHT, and EVERYTHING to do with HEALTH.
Good luck out there girl.
You’ve got this.

Many of the unfiltered images that have been shared are a huge eye opener.

Our bodies are poetry, and our stretchmarks are perfectly written lines.
I’m often asked when this journey started for me. When I stopped tearing apart my body and moved toward acceptance.
It’s been a long process in the making, one that truly began on a therapist’s couch at 20 and is still ongoing. But sometimes there are single moments, tiny seconds when lightbulbs go off. Seeing @sarashakeel ‘s Glitter Stretchmarks series was exactly that.
Her work forced me to question what I had always been told was shameful.
Because there, reimagined through her lens, stretchmarks were striking. Stunning. Sparkly and strong and undeniably beautiful.
So today, if you’re struggling with your stretchmarks, know this: we have been conditioned to believe they are ugly. They are not. They are your wonderful marvellous body serving you and supporting you always. Always.
You’re poetry, babygirl.
You’re a work of art. .

Read: They Received Hate Letters For Their Love–55 Years Later, They’re Still Together

Every single body is different, and all of them are beautiful!

unfiltered pictures
After losing over 200 pounds I am left with loose skin. A little reminder on this #mondaymotivation not everything you see on Instagram isn’t what it is. I get a lot of questions about loose skin. From did you have it removed to will you get it removed. The skin is here as you can see on the right.

This is my reminder of all the hard work that I have put into myself. No surgery, no diets, no pills and no keto. Simple calorie deficit and a lifestyle change is what helped me.

Now that I have the loose skin my issue is retaining fluid. Now that I have been incorporating more carbs and calories my skin likes to retain it. This is way my body does and I keep everything transparent with you all. This may not happen to everyone but it does to me.

Rather if I get loos kin surgery or not it doesn’t take from the hard work that was put in to make this happen. There is a possibility that I will get it removed. It’s hard having this in the way. It gets heavy and now I’m starting to have more back issues than I typically would. Even started have skin issues. It’s almost been a year since I’ve maintained. I do fluctuate a lot especially right now as I’m prepping for my next competition.
unfiltered pictures

Keep Reading: Two Friends Show How the Same Outfits Look on Women With Different Body Types