While social media often lets us nitpick at our bodies and compare them to airbrushed images of celebrities and influencers with toned figures and enviable flawless skin, it can also be a motivational and inspiring platform to learn to accept the way we look—thanks to influencers like Lexi Mendiola. The 25-year-old commercial model and Instagram celebrity is crusading for greater social media authenticity and body positivity, and slowly changing what it really means to be beautiful by posting images that highlight her body “flaws” to encourage the notion of self-acceptance.
In an Instagram post, Lexi flaunted her stretch marks while in a swimsuit, celebrated the value of authenticity over perfection, and gave a shout out to the many women who struggle with what society has deemed “imperfect” or “undesirable.” Apart from gaining more than 20,000 likes, the story was picked up by international publications like Allure and People, catapulting Lexi into global body-positivity acclaim. “I didn’t know the impact of what I was doing until I started becoming more vulnerable online and showing the real side of me. Women started sending me private messages, saying how much they appreciated it,” she recalls. “I cried after reading [the] messages because I really appreciated them from the bottom of my heart, but also because I didn’t know how insane the standard [of beauty] was until that moment.”
Lexi’s unretouched, unfiltered, and very real post became a message for women to embrace their unique beauty regardless of the flaws they might think they have. According to the influencer, what we may perceive as a negative shouldn’t affect who we are or how we value ourselves. She’s all for accepting and celebrating one’s own body—marks, stripes, and all. Below, Lexi shares the many amazing thing that could happen if you just learn to really love yourself.
1. You accept your insecurities instead of hiding them.
Lexi learned how to rise above her own insecurities and concentrate on her happiness and not on her looks. She explains that this happened when she posted her inspiring “stripes” on Instagram. “When I did this, I realized that many people were feeling exactly the same as I did, and that there were way more people who had them than I thought! It was so strange to me how normal having stretch marks was.” By shifting her perception of her body image, she realized that her own experiences were actually the norm rather than the exception.
2. You give yourself even more self-love.
Learning to love your body the way it is can be challenging, but it can also be life-changing. “Anybody can learn to accept her body but once you learn to actually love it, I swear you’ll come out a new person,” the young Instagrammer enthuses. “I really do loooove my stretch marks now because they became a vessel for me to connect with people, to help change the way they feel about themselves, and to help them overcome their insecurities. That for me was such a beautiful switch from hiding them from the world!”
3. You take better care of your body.
Lexi is now learning new ways to love and nourish her body, and to care for it as a whole. “I’ve always been the type to take care of my body as I’m naturally very interested in fitness, health, and self-care. But even though my lifestyle’s always been this way, there’s no swaying my genes, and the stretch marks [show up] no matter what.” Instead of obsessing over the parts of her body that will never change, she now focuses on the things she can improve on. “If there’s something I want to improve, then I just set a goal, and work hard towards that goal.”
4. You begin to love your reflection.
The mirror can be your biggest detractor, but it can also be your best friend. All you have to do is find something to love about yourself each time you look at your reflection, and realize that your body is working with you and not against you. Lexi says, “Once you [take a] step back and stop criticizing yourself too much to see the big picture, you’ll realize that the mere fact that your body is alive and functional is already so much to be grateful for.”
5. You learn how to deal with negative thoughts about your body.
The journey to self-confidence doesn’t happen overnight. Embracing yourself involves quieting the negative self-talk so you can focus on positive change. “I still do have my days when I’m critical about myself, considering I’m in an industry where you have to stay in shape and look your best, but I no longer feel ashamed of my body,” Lexi asserts. “There’s no point in feeling bad or loathing myself because that’s not going to do anything. Once you adapt this frame of mind, everything else is just going to be so much easier.”
6. You’re not afraid to show your true self online.
“I used to sort through all my photos and only post the best ones where the angles make me look my best or make me look a certain way. But that’s just not how I always look.” Embracing body positivity has taught Lexi that she is a lot more than just her skin or tiger stripes, and that there is more to living and enjoying life than a Photoshopped photo.
7. You ignore criticism.
The whole world opens up once you stop giving other people the power to define who you are, and when you just start enjoying your body. “As long as you try your best, and work on yourself to be mentally, physically, and emotionally stable, you shouldn’t let any criticisms get to you,” says Lexi. “Take them as lightly as you can, because, at the end of the day, it’s your body, not theirs.”
Body positivity is about self-acceptance, abandoning the concept of perfection, removing comparisons, embracing who you are, and treating yourself with respect. You can’t change the body you were born with, but you can pursue your healthiest self. Start a yoga practice, enroll in a gym membership, or set aside some well-deserved me-time during the week to celebrate yourself—whatever self-affirming decision you make, your body will thank you for it. If you're ready for the challenge, you can also treat yourself with complimentary treatments and passes when you become a Globe Platinum customer. Globe Platinum goes beyond telecommunications by offering exclusive perks and privileges from partner establishments in pursuit of your best self: Load up on happy hormones while you work for your dream shape by attending a cycling or rowing class in a fitness club like Saddle Row; develop a more peaceful and calm mindset from yoga classes like those from Yoga+; rejuvenate with quality pampering services at wellness centers like The Spa; or restore your fresh look with treatments from cosmetic gurus like the Belo Medical Group.
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