Mum takes photos seconds apart to show reality behind ‘perfect’ Instagram snapsJune 10, 2021
The “perfect” pictures you see on social media don’t always look as flawless in reality – and this is something a parenting blogger is on a mission to highlight.
Jessica McElroy, a mum-of-two and influencer, set-up her Instagram account after giving birth to her second child.
The 26-year-old, from Halifax, Yorkshire, wanted to celebrate natural beauty on her page.
So she started sharing pictures of her cellulite, stretch marks, scars and un-retouched body.
Jessica found a community on Instagram of other mums who create similar body positive content.
The mum’s honesty has paid off too as she’s often flooded with support and comments from women thanking her for making them "feel normal."
Jess told Yorkshire Live: "I struggled with my body image after having my second son – posting on Instagram and talking to other like minded mums also searching for validation that their bodies are 'normal' has given me so much confidence in myself again.
"It makes me really emotional when people tell me I have helped them open up too. It makes me feel like I have a role.
“I have a new found respect for my body after having children and I'm passionate on encouraging other mum's to feel that way too. "It's incredibly cathartic.”
In one of her posts, Jessica shows how easy it is to manipulate photos by altering your pose and pulling your belly in.
She wrote: “Two photos taken SECONDS apart…
“I like the girl in each photo. I am happy in each picture and that’s all that matters."
Jess continued: “My perception of my body is that it’s had two HUGE changes in a close period of time to each other and I accept it will never look like a 21-year-old pre pregnant body again.
“It’s okay that I gain weight quickly, I can always lose the unwanted weight when I’m ready. It’s okay that I have rolls, they’re there to protect my organs.
"It’s okay for me to have loose/stretchy skin, I’ve carried two babies for 9 months that’s 18 months of stretching.
“I love seeing posts like this that’s why I wanted to do one myself to see that huge difference pictures can be perceived to how unnatural a body can look in photos.
“I’m pretty sure no pose can sort my belly button out though. RIP belly button.”
The blogger hopes her content will challenge the perception that social media pictures need to be “perfect”.
She said: "It upsets me that young girls and women feel the need to edit their images and feel as though they have to do that to be accepted or to meet beauty standards.
"All bodies are beautiful and the more people that are portraying that message the better, growing up I can't remember ever seeing women in the media with bodies that looked anything like mine.
"I developed early and had curves and I was tall, I didn't look like the stick thin petite girls in the magazines but now with social media, we have got a real opportunity to normalise real bodies in every shape and size.
"I think new mums need to be able to see these posts and think 'oh so I am normal, that's what a body after a baby looks like.'"
Jess has almost 2,000 followers on Instagram where she muses about life, love, parenting, and body positivity.
She is also the founder of a popular hashtag #mummybodypositive where she encourages other mums to get involved in celebrating their natural bodies.
The mum-of-two is a huge advocate for mental health and often talks about her own struggles with PTSD and anxiety.
You can follow her page @theyorkshiremomma here.
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