Your body image is your attitude towards your body, your thoughts about it, how you see it and how you feel about it. But what is an image? It is a representation of something, it is not the actual thing itself.
People with healthy body image:
- Accept that bodies come in different shapes and sizes
- Know there are good things about their bodies
- Are comfortable with their bodies
- Are critical of the ‘ideal’ body seen in the media
We will all have times when we are dissatisfied with how we look – we might think our thighs are too big, notice that our skin is blotchy today or we’d like to be taller. However, there is a difference between occasional dissatisfaction, which is normal, and having a body image problem.
Poor Body Image:
- Unfortunately, many of us, especially women, hate our bodies or parts of it
- Feelings such as shame, embarrassment, self-loathing and hatred are common
- We use words like wobbly, disgusting, fat, gross, yuck to describe our bodies
- We don’t want to look in the mirror, our partners to see us naked, to swim at the beach and so on
- This can impact on our personal relationships, our self esteem and how we influence our daughters to think of themselves
- We can get into a vicious cycle of diet and exercise regimes – which if not “successful” can lead to more self loathing
- This negativity about our bodies has a wide impact for society
What can you do?
Try and adopt a respectful attitude to your body by:
- Make a conscious effort to let go of hating your body – this is a destructive habit
- Nourish yourself with healthy meals and snacks
- Engage in physical movement that you love eg dancing, walking, playing ping pong etc
- Engage in activities that you really love – going to the movies, catching up with friends, cooking your favourite meal etc
- Express gratitude for your body and all it does for you.
- Practice self care
- Get regular medical and dental check ups
- Wear clothes that you look and feel good in
Body image is one of the many topics we discuss in My Life My Dreams https://highlandscommunity.org.au/my-life-my-dreams/
For further information on body image:
The Butterfly Foundation www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au