Disclaimer: As you can tell from this title, this blog post will discuss body image.
- What is body image?
- The idea of beauty
- How do we feel about our bodies?
- My hypocrisy
- Positive body image
This blog post has been floating around my notes for a while now. I was in two minds about posting it, as I wanted to offer a balanced view while remaining true to myself. I will warn you, this is another vulnerable side of me post, as I want to share content that others can relate to that might offer some support.
Today, I want to discuss the topic of body image and my hypocrisy towards the entire concept. Trust me; this will make sense the more you read.
What is body image?
Body image encompasses body confidence and self-objectification. Body confidence refers to how satisfied you are with your appearance, while self-objectification relates to how much you see yourself through the eyes of others. Specifically, self-objectification places a lot of weight on the opinion of others, and your self-worth is based on how others judge you.
Ultimately, body image refers to how you see your own body.
The idea of beauty
Different societies have various beauty ideals, which most people cannot live up to, as they tend to be unrealistic.
Having a good body image surprising doesn’t mean that you think you are beautiful; it actually means you appreciate your body and everything that it does for you. But, if you do think you are beautiful, handsome or attractive, you should!
When we refer to poor body image, we mean that we are unsatisfied with our body.
How do we feel about our bodies?
A body confidence campaign progress report in 2015 stated that a large portion of the population was dissatisfied with their appearance. The report stated that 63% of women aged 18-34 were satisfied with their appearance, whereas only 57% of women aged 35-49 were satisfied with their appearance.
Another interesting statistic is that the report also states is that 77% of adults believe that ‘society puts too much pressure on women to have a sexualised appearance’.
An article by the Mental Health Foundation highlighted how 34% of adults felt anxious or depressed about their body image.
Why am I sharing all these statistics, you might ask? They highlight how we, including myself, are not alone when it comes to body image issues. Other people have personal issues when it comes to their appearance, and all those issues are valid. Regardless of gender, we can all experience body image-related issues.
Do you have cellulite, big thighs, small thighs, stretch marks? If other people have these, it’s fine, but if I do, now, that’s a problem! I love body confidence campaigns, I love when people of all shapes and sizes wear what they want, but I can’t provide that kind of support to myself.
When I look into the mirror, I can’t apply any of the complimentary words I use to describe others to myself. Everyone is beautiful, so why don’t I apply that to myself? Why do others find that so hard as well?
Do you find yourself complimenting your friends or even strangers, but you can’t talk to yourself with the same kindness?
Positive body image
While I currently have a poor body image, I am working towards loving myself. I think we all strive for a positive body image, as it means you are satisfied with your body.
I hope these tips and reminders can help you on your journey towards a positive body image. I know that I plan to use these as reminders for myself moving forward.
Appreciate what your body does
Your body does a lot for you; after all, life is more than just a catwalk. Think about what your body has done for you recently.
Laughing, dancing, walking, hugging, running etc. Your body does a lot for you, and it is important to remember that. Think about it, what has your body done for you today?
Does anyone keep those ‘one-day’ clothes? You know the clothes you keep because one day you will fit into them. Yeah, those clothes aren’t motivation. Instead, they tend to be unhelpful, in my experience.
For example, I had a pair of jeans that I fit into before University, so seven years ago. I kept them because I thought one day I would fit into them, but that was unrealistic. In those seven years, my body changed, so it makes sense those jeans would not fit anymore.
I was putting my worth on whether or not a pair of jeans would fit. It sounds silly when I write it down, doesn’t it? The moment I let go of those jeans, I felt like a weight had been lifted. After waving goodbye to other pieces of clothing that no longer fit, I treated myself to clothing that fit, that was my size and it made me feel good about my body.
Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable in your body. Whatever your style might be, choose clothing that you love.
The mirror is your friend
I go through periods where I just avoid the mirror. I didn’t like the reflection. I didn’t tell anyone this, because it feels so strange saying, I don’t like looking in the mirror.
I’ve tried to change this recently, first, by taking note of what I did when I looked into the mirror. I focused on areas of myself that I hated instead of looking at myself. I looked at my full self instead of fixating on little areas I didn’t like.
Then instead of focusing on the areas I didn’t like, I focused on the small parts I did. Granted, it was hard to think of parts I did like to begin with, but I found that the more I did this, the more I appreciated myself, even just a little bit.
Social media isn’t all real
Does anyone else scroll through social media and start to feel disheartened about their appearance?
More often than not, social media is not real. It is a snippet from someone’s life, which means you don’t really get the full picture. Filters, lighting, photoshop – they all play a part in social media sometimes. While it is a balancing act of putting out content you feel comfortable with, as an audience, we should remember that it isn’t always 100% real.
Appreciate yourself by doing something nice for yourself. Take yourself on a solo date to spend time with yourself, and truly appreciate you. I like the idea of treating yourself and essentially taking yourself on a date. Sometimes, we can all forget how interesting and incredible we are, which is why a solo date is so important. You take time to remind yourself who you are, what you like and how you like to spend your time.
The right people
It is very important to surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. It is easier to feel good about yourself when your circle sees the importance of liking yourself.
I am overweight, but that doesn’t mean I’m ugly. I’m overweight, but that doesn’t mean I don’t matter. Size does not determine your worth.
I know reading through a blog post won’t completely eliminate any problems you might be having in terms of your body image, but I hope it provides some comfort. You are not alone.
Strangely, writing this blog post provided some comfort to me, so I hope it does the same for you. 💜
The beautiful thing about humanity is that we are all different. The ugly thing is that not everyone can accept that.
Let’s appreciate all the beauty in the world. 😊
As always, I end with a question. Feel free to answer in the comments below.
I like my eyes. My eyesight is slowly getting worse, as it is just a blurry image without my contacts, which is why I appreciate the fact that I can see with assistance. 💜