Body image is almost inescapable when it comes to major media. It’s as if you can’t evade seeing a constant in-pour of the “ideal body”. We often see tall models with super slim physiques, mannequins shaped almost identically, and fashion ads where not everybody type is displayed. This lack of representation can make people question why they don’t look like the people they see on television or in fashion magazines. Thus, it becomes easy for one to feel even more isolated. If internalized, these observations often turn into major insecurities when it comes to one’s body.
Body image isn’t just exclusive to a person’s weight. People are also insecure about things like height, body shape, facial features, and more. These negative thoughts about a person’s body might even transition into a compulsion to engage in unhealthy habits to achieve a certain look. Thus, we might find someone who isn’t accepting of their body goes to extreme lengths as binge eating, starvation, purging, and more to attain the “perfect body”.
Issues with body image can even stem from childhood if a person happens to experience verbal or physical abuse. In such cases, their parent or caregiver uses to scold them about eating or make comments about their appearance. Having a negative perception of your body might even limit you from having fun. For example, have you ever been self-conscious when going to the pool or beach? Some people are so bothered by how they look and how others will view them that they choose to hide their bodies. So, they might wear baggy clothes to take the attention away from the parts of their body they aren’t happy with. Being positive about your body is possible and can be achieved by adopting a mentality of body positivity.
What is body positivity?
Body positivity is the mentality of accepting your body where it is currently at now. Some people feel like they have to lose weight or gain a certain amount of pounds in order for them to begin enjoying their lives. Body positivity teaches that you are good enough as you are already. Sure, you can strive towards making healthy changes. However, you still shouldn’t deprive yourself of confidence and living life to the fullest at your current physical status.
Your weight nor physical appearance defines your beauty or your worth. So, don’t think that you can’t do anything anyone else can.
How to practice body positivity
Stop comparing your body to other people’s bodies. Everyone’s body is different and that is what makes us unique. Own your uniqueness. Practice gratitude. Find things you really like about your body.
Know that there is no “perfect body”. Although society might show a certain body type more than others, you have to be the one to represent yours. Society doesn’t define you either.
Start living your life now. Life is too short to be unkind to yourself. You deserve happiness now.
Avoid negative self-talk. Don’t berate yourself even if they are self-deprecating jokes. Your subconscious mind registers everything you say about yourself as true. Focus on the skills and talents of yours. Your body isn’t your only asset.