Women are often made to feel like our bodies need to meet society’s standards. It can be especially difficult to feel good about yourself in the age of social media, when you’re constantly comparing yourself to models, influencers, and celebrities who are widely followed and adored. I’ll admit that I sometimes scroll through my Instagram feed and think to myself, Why can’t I look like her? Why can’t I live like that? I’ve struggled with confidence for most of my life, so after years of following people who didn’t look like me — and who I thought I needed to be like in order to be perfect — I decided to follow more influencers who would remind me what a badass I am. One of my favorite follows is TikTok creator Karly Polkosnik, aka @yourgirlkarly.
In complete contrast to some of the people I used to follow, Polkosnik inspires me every day to love myself and the skin I’m in. If you scroll through her TikTok feed, you’ll find that she’s a big advocate for body positivity, sex positivity, and self-love. Her videos are hilarious, honest, and encouraging, and she always finds a way to make her followers feel like we should be celebrated for being exactly who we are. While body positivity is a large part of her brand, Polkosnik didn’t actually intend for that to happen. “I was getting comments on my TikTok videos that people had never seen someone their size wear a crop top,” Polkosnik told POPSUGAR. She was inspired to continue posting when others told her that she helped bring out their confidence.
Polkosnik grew up being a competitive dancer and cheerleader — two sports that she says made being body positive really difficult. Having the audience on TikTok that she does, Polkosnik feels a responsibility to be honest about how she’s feeling day to day and how she got to this level of confidence. So often people only post what they want others to see. “I’m not afraid to share that I don’t love myself every day. It isn’t like I don’t struggle,” Polkosnik said.
She believes it’s important to be vulnerable in order to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for generations coming up on social media. “Young people are so impressionable and they can tend to feel like things on social media are always real and they’re not,” Polkosnik explained. “There are so many things that people are not showing us.”
When you watch Polkosnik’s TikToks, you’ll find yourself smiling along and wanting to get up and dance in your living room with her! Don’t believe me? Keep scrolling to see some of my favorites.