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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

On the outset, our bodies may appear to be concrete and stable. However when we consciously participate in our biological structure, we come to realize that the human body is never truly in a static state. The entirety of our human body is a complex system of processes. As long as there is oxygen to breathe, our bodies will be in a continual state of changing, renewing, healing, adapting, digesting, metabolizing, or menstruating.   


Mere Illusion


Photographs and Instagram selfies show otherwise. Posted pictures of sculpted abdomens donning such hashtags #fitlife perpetuate the fallacy that “perfection” is a static state. However, pictures are but a snippet, a singularly captured moment. They do not represent the body in its totality and all its processes it is undergoing. Yet, as we live in our ever-changing bodies, we endlessly compare the perceived imperfections of our bodies to those apparently flawless images. We have come under the illusion that something must be horribly wrong if our body is not in visual accordance with “perfected” images.  Within our social context, we despise our physical defects because we inherently fear we will be judged and not accepted.


Due to the influx of idealized images, we are inundated with, we have a tendency to think that whenever our body experiences a biological issue that manifests physically, we must be the only ones who are dealing with such matters. This can be extremely isolating.


The Process is Real for Everyone


And a handful of social media fitness influencers want to assure fans and followers that bloating is a normal aspect of the digestive process. These fitness influencers are sharing side-by-side photos that feature their bloated not-so-sculpted stomachs next to their non-bloated ones. Often taken within 12 hours of each other, the paired photos of bellies are meant to convey the transient nature of bloating- bloating is a process that comes AND goes.


Showing side by side selfies of bloated and non-bloated tummies helps us to remember that there is not a set standard of what our bodies “should” look like.  Everyone's body, as well as health journey, is infinitesimally different and vastly composed of complex, ongoing processes. These bloated belly photos help to erase the stigma of imperfection. We are reminded that perfection is an illusion, that  “imperfections” are indiscriminate in who they afflict, and thus allows us to feel a little less isolated and self-loathing when we experience bloating.


Our body is not meant to be perfect, however, it is meant to be taken care of. Part of taking care of our body includes objectively listening and observing how the body changes moment to moment. We have ideal moments but they are not meant to last forever, nor meant to be a way to derive our innate value. When we are open and honest about the processes our bodies undergo, we can become more connected and less alienated from our own bodies. With the “show the bloat” transparency, we witness another person struggling in their body JUST AS how I am struggling in mine. Hence, this gives me less of a reason to feel alone and all more of a reason to love them. That’s deep.