A POSITIVE BODY IMAGE
Now this is a touchy subject to talk about for most young girls and women, including myself. It’s the thing that we try not to think about however are constantly bombarded with all over social media. Although we try not to think about it, we do, because, on average, women have 13 negative thoughts about their body daily, 13! (Glamour magazine, 2016). This sounds like a hell of a lot, however I’m sure if you tried to name 13 things you didn’t like about your body right now, you could do it, and don’t worry, so could I. So why? Why are we so harsh on ourselves as women within this society? Can we blame it on social media? Fashion magazines? Or is it our own fault for allowing our minds to get the better of us? This is something which has been debated for centuries, and although there isn’t much we can do to change how much a fashion magazine or famous supermodel may photoshop their photos, we can sure try to change the way we view ourselves, and try our best to promote positive body image.
Like I said before, a lot of us girls tend to avoid the thought and talk of our bodies, and that’s the first problem! Step avoiding your body. Its time to face up to your body and get to know it, spend more time in front of the mirror, become friends with your lumps and bumps, not enemies! Try doing things that you would typically avoid like going to the beach or going clothes shopping. The more time you spend in contact with your body, the more you are likely to start feeling more positive towards it and yourself!
We all know that our minds have the ability to take us to the moon and back with it’s imagination, and sometimes when it comes to our body image, our minds can knit pick and take us on a wild ride when comparing ourselves to other people. Its no lie, we all compare our bodies to other people, whether it’s an instagram model on your feed, the lady walking down the street or the young girl serving you breakfast, our minds have the ability to constantly compare our physical attributes to those of others.
Common questions, which may go through our minds when comparing ourselves to others include; why can’t my arms be as skinny as hers? How come her thighs don’t rub together? Why does she have abs and I don’t? And the list goes on… you may not be aware of it but it happens more regularly than not. So next time you go to compare your body to someone else’s take notice of who you are comparing yourself to and what you say to yourself when it happens. Before jumping to conclusions and into a negative train of thought, next time try asking yourself if it is realistic, is it fair? And try to notice how the comparing may change your mood and what you could potentially say to make yourself feel better about it.
Trying not to compare yourself to others is one of the best ways to practice self- acceptance and therefore, positive body image. If you let the little critic inside of your head get to you too much, you may find yourself in a space, which is damaging to your body and mind. So what can you do? Try your best to beat the critic! If your’e still unsure of what I am referring to as the ‘critic’, it’s the little voice inside of your head who made you feel bad for eating that last piece of chocolate, the voice which is constantly telling you that you could be skinnier or that you’re not good enough. Who asked for their opinion anyway right? Beating the critic is hard, it takes a lot of time, and has a lot to do with maturity, the more mature we are, the more we are able to see things from a realistic point of view. Although beating the critic comes with maturity, it doesn’t mean you have to spend your awkward teenage years hating the skin you’re in, start making a change in how you view yourself today, because trust me, it will help you out later on in life.
EntreprenHer is an organisation that will help guide you if you want to take charge of your own body image and build your self-confidence. Click here to learn more.
Article written by Helen Panopoulos for EntreprenHer.