Body Image is the way you view yourself and how you look. Having a positive body image means that most of the time you see yourself accurately; you feel comfortable in your body and you feel good about the way you look. It’s also how you imagine other people see you.
FACT: Research suggest that 80% of adult women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and this problem starts at a very early age. In 1st-3rd grade, 40% of girls want to loose weight and 80% of 10-year old girls are afraid of being fat. Sad facts here ladies!
You are labeled “overweight” or “underweight.” This label is stamped into the consciousness of your mother. Every time you were brought to the pediatrician for a routine checkup, you were compared to the statistical data and national charts. Your mother was indirectly taught how to feel about the size of your body.
We receive strong messages about body image from magazines, television, films, and other social medial. Most of the beliefs we have about the way women “should” look like come from models and celebrities we see in magazines and the media. Models and celebrities do not look like most women.
FACT: Models weigh 23% less then women who are not models.
Look around you. Notice women’s bodies. In the real world women’s bodies are diverse not what we see in magazines and social media. Each body is unique!
Our bodies are amazing. They are what makes us alive! We can do amazing things with our bodies. Let’s honor each part of our body and what it does. In doing this, it will help you honor your body. It will help you honor all of the girls and women’s bodies. It will help you honor all shapes, sizes, and the different stages of life such as puberty, menopause, and aging. There is no need to compare. Our body is unique!!!
Treat your body with respect and kindness. Love your beautiful body!
An exercise you can do is to look at yourself in the mirror. Look into your eyes. Say the words, “I love you.” Say it multiple times. “Say I love you (use your name)”. If you have never said this before, take some deep breaths and say “I can learn to love myself”. When you are ready scan your body. Tell your body parts you love them. Tell them what you love about them. Do this exercise at least once a day for 30 days. After 30 days ask yourself, “How did this exercise help me?” “Do I love myself more?” “Do I have positive body image?” Be compassionate with yourself during this process.
Written by Natasha Burke, Feb 13, 2017