No Lockdown Glow Up? No Problem.

Coronavirus has given us many rules to follow; wash your hands, socially distance and, for goodness sake, wear a mask. But I can assure you that achieving a post-lockdown ‘glow up’ or embarking on a weight-loss journey is not one of them. Nor should it be. You’ve been through a pandemic. The last thing on your mind should be to spend one of the most unprecedented and stressful times of our lifetimes trying to change a body that doesn’t need changing.

With the world of social media becoming essentially our only form of contact, entertainment and access to anything outside of the walls of our own homes, so came with it the crippling unrealistic body expectations that lurk pretty much everywhere across the internet. The rise of Tik Tok certainly didn’t help – every other video on my for you page seemed to be a Chloe Ting ab challenge, slim influencers doing try-on hauls or body transformation videos. I admit that after a few weeks I too felt the pressure to use my lockdown time trying to fit the image of these Tik Tok fashionistas, and it basically became part of my daily routine to look in the mirror and rip myself to shreds at least 10 times.

Don’t get me wrong, Covid-19 didn’t create unrealistic body expectations and ideals – as I’m sure almost every woman can tell you, we didn’t need a lockdown for social media to construct bullshit ideas of beauty. Body insecurity is often a daily burden for most people, but being locked away in our homes with little else to do but dwell on these negative thoughts was sure to affect our perceptions of ourselves. But I’m here to tell you that you mustn’t let it.

I’ve since come to the realisation that I owe no one a glow-up. Where in the guidelines did it say to lose weight? To work-out? To change yourself? If I owe anything, it’s an appreciation to my body for getting through a global pandemic. It’s normal for everyone to go through body adjustments and weight fluctuations, particularly when you factor in mental health – let alone the added anxiety of a global health crisis. Of course, it is important to try and keep your body healthy, but that does not mean suffocating your mental wellbeing or happiness in order to squeeze into this ‘glow-up’ ideal. The important thing is to keep safe, stay positive, and spend time with your loved ones (socially distanced, duh!).

So eat that extra biscuit. Have that cocktail. Say yes to that family takeaway. Sure, do a workout if you want to, but because YOU want to. We’ve all been through too much to have the added pressure of becoming a ‘better’ version of ourselves. As if your size or shape even defines self-betterment. So you may have put on weight in lockdown. So what? Weight gain is normal. Weight loss is normal. But most importantly, all body types are normal. So stop stressing, you look fabulous.

BEFORE YOU GO...Have you read: Women’s charity founder: “Return of Taliban will leave women vulnerable to traffickers"

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