Being bombarded with images of ‘perfect’ bodies can make us feel like we want to stop the world and get off.
While there are some attempts by brands to introduce diversity, the message that thinness is next to godliness is still so entrenched in our narrow ideal of beauty.
But we’ve just discovered a new hero taking the body image world by storm who quite frankly deserves a medal.
Meet Danae Mercer, taking every taboo we feel about ourselves and smashing it into smithereens so that we start to embrace the bodies we’ve been gifted.
The American journalist dedicates her Instagram page, boasting an impressive 765k followers at the time of publication, to ‘helping gals feel normal’.
Having experienced an eating disorder herself, as well as a relapse during recovery, Danae talks candidly about the pressures to look a certain way in today’s society.
In particular, she addresses the use of editing apps to doctor online images and how lighting can be used to create trickery of how the body looks in reality.
One of Danae’s recent images sees her posing in a swimsuit with cellulite on her booty and thighs clearly on show.
Alongside the post, she wrote: “Girl, stop trying to make everyone happy – you’re not guacamole…
“What would we do different if we were less afraid of being different. Not just with our health, our wellness goals, but with our hopes, our dreams, our lives?
“It’s easy to want to make everyone happy. To fit in. To softly and gently bend and fold with whatever voices shout the loudest or sting the sharpest.
“Only in trying to please everyone, we become no one. We fade. We lose ourselves. Trust me, I’ve been there.”
Danae’s picture, which accrued nearly 100,000 likes, concluded: “You can do this. Be yourself, babygirl. No guacamole required.”
In another snap, she shows two images of herself side by side as she takes on ‘before and after’ images which are used frequently to sell consumers weight loss products.
Danae wrote: “Before and after transformations are so gosh darn easy to fake.
“And dodgy brands, like those selling diet teas or diet jabs (the newest horrible thing to hit the market) often do exactly that.
“Be careful. Dodgy companies will use dodgy methods to try to sell you things you don’t need. Things like teas that make you poo or shots that mess up your body or pills that make your heart race.
“The companies are awful, awful fakery that wrap themselves around products more concerned with money than with wellness.”
She added: “It’s about learning to be careful. And to view the internet with a critical eye – especially where money is involved.”
Danae’s other posts remind her followers that we all come in different shapes and sizes, that over 80% of women have cellulite, and that stretch-marks are extremely common.
If you find yourself self-critical when you look in the mirror, feel guilty for enjoying certain foods, or compare yourself to other people, we recommend giving Danae a follow.