Body Image

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

For further information on body image:

The Butterfly Foundation