Lucy Mountain can hold her hands up and admit that she too has fallen victim to the allure of body changing technology. But this is why, if you still have an app on your phone, she really, really wants you to delete it.
Take a scroll on Lucy Mountain’s Instagram page and you might initially get the wrong idea about the fitness and food influencer.
White tiles decorated with pictures of donuts, chocolate and pasta are stamped out with huge red crosses, labelled as bad foods only to be enjoyed on a treat day. There are videos of Mountain, posing with her biceps flexed, captioned as work out tutorials on how to lose hip dips or that muffin top. Essentially, she adheres to the stereotypical image of a fitness influencer preaching about how to become slimmer and more traditionally ‘beautiful’.
But this is the brilliant part – click into any of her posts and you’ll see that each one pokes fun at these ridiculous standards. Instead of getting rid of hip dips, Mountain actually just eats a whole bag of crisps with a jar of dip. Instead of telling us what we should and shouldn’t eat, she reminds us to enjoy our food guilt free.
So in the current technological climate, where social media and photo retouching apps have increased the pressure to look like a celebrity and attempt a standard that isn’t even real, we thought she would be the perfect person to shout the message loud and clear that, as women, we need to stand together and just stop.
Speaking to stylist.co.uk, Mountain explains she even used to alter her own photos well before apps were around: “It’s not even like this kind of technology is that advanced anymore. These apps cost as much as your morning vanilla spiced latte. I have been there, I was doing this way before these damn apps were even around.
“I would load up Photoshop and I would manually shrink my waist and arms photo by photo for fear that my Facebook friends would judge my real life human body.”
But after the creation of platforms like Instagram the pressure has intensified even further, and as Mountain says “you can now digitally modify your entire appearance to look like a different human being, erasing all traces of human life from your under-eyes and adding six packs worthy of a fitness model magazine front cover” to create a “perfect Instagram aesthetic”.
The problem is the expectations being set for us and that we are internalising, aren’t realistic. Mountain says: “I get it. We need the big, round, perky boobs with the glorious highlight shining in between. We need the ginormous set of glutes that you can strange your thongs with. And our faces, our faces need to be completely pore-less because God forbid we have hair follicles!”
“This then becomes the standard, but the standard doesn’t even exist. We are saying to ourselves that we are not good enough. It’s severely warping our sense of self and as a result, damaging our mental health. That’s not okay!”
This is why Mountain is calling on women to harness “the power to stop making ourselves and other women feel like shit.” It’s a sentiment we couldn’t agree with more, especially after launching our Love Women initiative this year, in which we have pledged to ensure the women you see on our pages represent all women – inclusive of ethnicity, body shape, sexuality, age and disability, to never sell an impossible dream and to celebrate the so-called flaws of women to prove the normality in all of our bodies.
Mountain’s plea is for us all to delete the apps, as she says: “It’s 2019 and we are strong, independent women. We need to stand together and stop digitally modifying our bodies.”
Watch the full video above.