How to Combat the Comparison Craze

It’s that time of year again. 

The time of year where we dust off our Birkenstocks and witness the beginning of summer. The humid, sometimes freezing sometimes blazing hot, sweating-in your rain boots weather is finally over (I really hope I didn’t jinx that). However, this weather doesn’t just mean that it’s time to commit to your iced coffee order. It’s the hiking, laying out, and swimming weather that we all have been waiting for.

Assorted-color String Bikini Top

Well, not all of us. 

I think it’s safe to say that we have all been scrolling on Instagram at one point or another and have come upon an almost too perfect swimsuit photo. The girl with the nearly invisible waistline, cheeky bottoms, and bronzed skin. This girl is confident, fit, flirty, and she looks a lot different than you do right now. The thought pops up in your head within seconds- “Why don’t I look like that?”. As you agonize over every last detail of your body, this begins what I call the Comparison Craze.

I’ve experienced this scenario way too many times to count. I wish I could say that I’m immune to the Comparison Craze, but I’m not. I’ve been working on changing my thinking in this situation, and while I still have a long way to go, I’ve figured out some things that I can do to make this situation a little (or a lot) more bearable. 

Recognize the truth behind the photo. In all honesty, this photo was probably taken before a meal, is edited like crazy, and took as many tries as an America’s Next Top Model photoshoot. Why do I know this? I’ve been the girl in the photo before. Do you think I was full of Jimmy John’s before or after I got the perfect shot? Did I saturate the crap out of that photo? Yes. Did I spend 20 minutes posing, smizing, and laughing at something that wasn’t even funny? Also yes. Do I look ANYTHING like that photo as I type this right now? Not even close. 

Honestly a WAY more accurate representation of what I look like right now.

Recognize that this girl is, like you, a real person. She gets bloated, she eats her weight in chips and salsa before her actual meal comes, and she definitely doesn’t feel pretty all the time. You know what’s even crazier? This girl experiences the Comparison Craze too. The problem with social media is that it doesn’t show us what’s real. It’s a perfectly glossed over, “my life is amazing” platform that people use to promote their brand. These people won’t post their makeup-free face, or a bikini picture after they’ve eaten lunch. 

Think of what you love about yourself. It sounds cheesy, but hear me out. Don’t focus too much on physical features, because our external appearance is somewhat temporary. Instead, focus on how you nailed your presentation, or how you made your notoriously grouchy boss laugh yesterday. Focus on your superb interior decorating skills, or how you just perfected your triple pirouette. When you appreciate yourself for qualities other than your physical appearance, you’ll be amazed how your thoughts start to change. 

Something I love about myself? My superb omelette-making skills.

When in doubt, just unfollow. This one has been huge for me. Unfollowing accounts that made me question my self-worth or made me feel insecure has been monumental. While this won’t completely eliminate the occurrence of bikini shots, it will give you a little more breathing room and make social media a safer space for you. 

Lastly, remember that this girl’s beauty does not subtract from your own. Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean that you aren’t pretty too. I’ve come to terms with this within my own friend group. College has brought me some amazing friends, and they’re all so beautiful. There have been times I’ve looked at one of my friends and thought, “Wow, she’s so pretty and I look nothing like her”. But just because we have different physical features doesn’t mean that one of us is more beautiful than the other. Plus, how boring would life be if we were all clones of each other?

Just a few of my beautiful friends who I definitely don’t need to compare myself to 🙂

The world of social media can be triggering, especially in the summer. While the Comparison Craze is just a phrase that I made up, it’s all too real and affects the most confident of people.

We can’t control what other people post, or how other people look, but we can control how we choose to think about it. 

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