Improving Your Body Image
You jump in front of the mirror for one last check before your big night out. Your immediate response is... Ugggh! "I look so fat in this outfit!" or you turn your head this way and that and say, "I hate my nose!" Don't feel bad. We all do it. Even the most beautiful and highly paid fashion models are critical of certain parts of their body. Find out how to improve your body image and self esteem.
Body image?Body image is our own subjective concept of our physical appearance. It's the picture we have of our own body as well as the way we think others see us. Body image is directly related to our self-esteem. It thus makes sense if we can improve our body image, we can build our self-esteem.
Negative results of poor body image
Poor body image can have a negative spiraling effect. It starts with low self-esteem and can lead to emotional distress, depression, anxiety and eating disorders. At worst, a negative body image can lead to self-hate, drug usage and suicidal tendencies. Stop right there! Let's not go down that road.
It's not our fault
Let's face it, society has programmed us to be self-critical of our physical characteristics. Models are always gorgeous, or at least we think so. Ads in the media keeps reminding us that we can't look fat, look old, or have acne and frizzy hair. Even Barbie dolls are perfect! Our friends and family lovingly remind us of our tiny flaws, with our best interests in mind, of course. With these social and cultural ideals for beauty, what's a girl to do?
Love your body, Love yourself
Sure! That's easy to say. Actually making it happen is the hard part. You've heard the expression "Attitude is everything." Well, there's a certain degree of truth in it. Which means, you need to stop the negative self-talk! Obsessing and continually telling ourselves what we hate about our bodies does a good job of programming our brains into believing it.
What to do:
Changing our body image has a lot to do with our lifestyle choices. Healthy eating may not only trim us down, but also improve complexion and hair. Rest and plenty of regular exercise can boost self-esteem, self-image, and energy levels. Getting involved in an activity or volunteer organization will help you focus your energy outward in a positive way.
It's a constant effort
Learn to love the person you are inside and out every single day. Surround yourself with those who see you for the wonderful person you are. Enhance and embrace the person you see in the mirror. Put up a sticky note that says, "I am gorgeous!" and soon you'll even start believing it.
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.