Last night I was out with some friends at the pub and unsurprisinglythe talk of January, diets and weight came up in conversation. I was complimenting a friend on her weight loss and how amazing she was looking and, because she is a girl and therefore incapable of taking a compliment, she told me that no, she didn't and she still had so much work to do on her stomach.
At this point my boyfriend chimed in, he has been spending time with a personal trainer lately and he informed us that actually, a lot of the weight that women in particular carry around our stomach area, is due to stress.
That of course, after a few glasses of wine made us giggle. First of all, how are you meant to de-stress anyway? Is there some magical secret that we don't know about which will result in a completely stress free life? Also, if we're stressed now, in our early twenties, how would we cope when we had kids and real, proper, mental responsibilities? We started fantasising about this stress free life... It would be amazing, we realised, but for so many other reasons than just a flat stomach.
So then conversation turned to the very skinny, toned, strong women that we see so much of on Instagram and the like. All these women with totally flat stomachs, who, according to our reasoning, must have totally stress free lives right?
It was at this point however that I had to put my two pennies in because my friend, whom I had been having this discussion with, had said that yes - celebrities probably do live totally care-free lives which is why they are all so thin, what do they have to worry about with all that money and success?
There is of course that long standing joke that no, money can't buy happiness, but we'd all rather cry in a Ferrari, which of course is true. We'd all rather weep in a sports car, given the choice but ultimately, we'd still be crying regardless of our wealth.
It is very easy, with the overwhelming presence that is Social Media, to assume that everyone has a better life than you, after all, it's basically now just an accepted and appropriate way to show off. But we need to remember that that is all that it is. It's showing off.
Those celebrities with the stretch marks and the cellulite perhaps don't feel that they've got the goods to show, and so we simply don't see them. But the ones that do have the confidence and the bodies, not only do they show it off, they ram it down our throats, leading us to believe that all celebrities live this way.
And not just celebrities, every woman and her dog is on Instagram these days and we find ourselves envying nearly all of them for their amazing hair, their flat stomachs, even their will power to eat spinach all the time. I suspect Instagram was set up simply to make people jealous, and it's working.
So what of the beautiful women that we find ourselves envying? Yes, they may well have more time to train, they may have more money for an instructor and for healthy foods, but it doesn't mean that their lives are happy or stress-free.
I suspect they're as bored with kale as we are, they're struggling in the gym just like we are, and they sometimes have shit to deal with just like we do.
I've always thought that jealousy is one of the ugliest emotions out there, because nothing good ever comes from it, it's so easy to find yourself resenting a person that you've never even met, simply because they have what we want. But not only is this counter-productive, it's making is nasty and bitter, gone are the days when we would want to celebrate them and congratulate them and perhaps see through the facade to realise that all may not be as it seems.
It's fine to look at a model and think that she has a great figure, it's fine to wish that you had one like it, but it's not okay to presume that their lives are all daisies and lollipops and hold that against them, because we don't know what goes on behind closed doors.
We're all different but in our own little ways, we're all perfect too, so don't waste your time wishing for something better because if one day you woke up and you had what you wished for, you might just get a nasty surprise.