As I sit scrolling through the Instagram account I dedicated to fitness, I come across post after post after post of perfectly sculpted, perfectly beautiful, perfectly PERFECT women. Their bodies are lean and strong, with muscles I didn't even know a human could have. My mind floats to my stunning lack of abs. My delts don't pop like hers do. My legs are at least ten times chunkier than that girl's.
Staring at these kinds of pictures daily can wreck a girl's self-esteem. One girl decided to start a movement that ended up taking Instagram by storm: Unguarded And Unbothered.
Desiree Scoggin, a 22-year old certified personal trainer, created the movement to encourage women to see beauty in themselves in a world that often times pressures them to be perfect. She posted the following photo on Instagram, which would lead to a massive wave of women joining in to celebrate their bodies -- their real, beautiful bodies.
This took a lot of balls.. but this is me. ?? Not one drop of edit. No contortion. No sucking in. No glamour shot. 100% me. 100% vulnerable. #UnguardedAndUnbothered I use to hate how I have reddish skin around my eyes. I use to hate the way my belly button looked. I hated how one eye squinted more when I smiled. I use to hate that I got acne everywhere, including my back. I use to hate that my thighs were so big. I use to hate that I didn't have boobs. I use to hate that people called me "broad" and told me I'd be a good football player (lol F off). I hated my eyebrows and how they looked so much I shaved them with a literal razor ??. I USE TO HATE "ME"! Now, I love everything about myself so much I want you guys to see it and *hopefully* love me and accept me for who I am too! ???????? I'm not here to BS anyone, I'm not here to act like I know everything, and I'm not here to inspire purely through fitness. I'm HERE to inspire you through your life! I want to help so many people it makes me emotional just thinking about it, and typing this. I want to make a difference in this world. I WILL make a difference in this world. Take your makeup off, look at yourself in the mirror, forget about what the media tells you, and LOVE YOURSELF! Share your own beauty, I want to see it --> #UnguardedAndUnbothered. ?????? #desbfit #desbfittraining #therealme #bereal #nomakeup #noedit #thriving #pure #realitycheck #fitnessjourney #unbothered #teamhappiness #lit #iamenough
The photo is unedited, unfiltered, uncontoured. It's 100 percent real, 100 percent Desiree. In the caption, she laundry-lists all the things that she used to hate about herself, all of which are now things that she loves so much. So much that she wants everyone to see them and accept her for HER. Completely unguarded, completely real and unbothered by the raw truth of who she is.
In the post, Des invited her followers to join in the movement, to let down the guard that covers up their insecurities and to be unbothered in showing their real selves to the world. The #UnguardedAndUnbothered tag currently has almost 1700 posts and grows daily.
Hundreds of women have joined what has become so much more than a self-love movement. It's a proclamation of confidence, of self, of acceptance and of raw beauty. In a society that puts so much pressure on women to be perfect, it's amazing to see so many strong, beautiful women not afraid to show their "flaws" and let others know they're not alone.
I ended up joining the movement a few weeks after Des posted the original photo. I had my hair thrown up in a messy bun. I was wearing my glasses and no makeup. My arms looked skinny, and I didn't have anything resembling a six-pack, but looking in the mirror, I loved who I was. All the bad things I used to pick apart, I realized were what made me... me.
I was terrified at first to post such a raw photo, but I received so much positive feedback and so many encouraging words, and Des herself even left a comment telling me that I looked so happy and confident. I realized being sincerely accepting of and happy about who you are is worth SO much more than an unattainable image of "perfection".
Des has continued to slayyyyy the Instagram game, and now has over 22K followers. She continues to embody her original #UnguardedAndUnbothered message in all of her posts, encouraging those who follow her to do the same.
Des's movement has obviously garnered a ton of success. It has allowed women to come to peace with themselves and their imperfections, and to show the world that they are proud of who they are. This has inspired me to start feeling more confident about myself in general. In my eyes, that's a success.