Thursday, June 30, 2011

Body Image Issues

Summer is here. As the weather gets warmer, people pull out their summer clothes, start special diets, and star spending hours in the gym. With trips to the beach and the warm weather, summer time reveals more skin that would otherwise be covered. Are you confident with your looks? Are you emotionally and mentally prepared for the pool and beach season? Will you let your beauty shine through? In this article, we will discuss the topic of creating a positive body image so you can always feel good about yourself.

Unfortunately the problem of stereotypes in today’s world is poisoning our self-esteem. Magazine cover models have “perfect” faces, are underweight and disproportionate. Actresses and actors from Hollywood look one way, which often makes us think that we are imperfect or even ugly if we don’t look that way. Expensive designers clothes are only made in small sizes and often people starve themselves in order to fit into the cloths. Individuals following unhealthy diets in order to fit in those clothes may have not only an unhealthy relationship with food, but disordered eating as well.

Many of us have a tape playing in our minds of ideas we have heard or interpreted from the people in our life. Some of us think “I’m not good enough” or “I’m ugly”. We often act as harsh self-critics and tend to blame ourselves for any perceived flaw. It takes effort, but if we can recognize these negative messages we are telling ourselves, we can work to turn them around and instead say to ourselves “I am good enough” or “I am beautiful”. So often we forget that our uniqueness makes us who we are – and who we are is special and worthy of praise!

Study conducted by Swedish psychiatrists Allebeck, Hallberg et al. demonstrated that individuals with a negative body image tend to have a distorted perception of his or her shape, size and height. The imperfections that are obsessed over are not even real! Often we compare our bodies to others, and feel shame, disgust and anxiety. We believe that others will judge us negatively, but that is because we judge ourselves . Being unhappy with your body can affect how you think and feel about yourself as a person. A poor body image can lead to emotional distress, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and sometimes even suicide (Stein, 2003).

Developing a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude is crucial to a person’s happiness, mental health and wellness.

Stay tuned for our next post - The Top 8 Ways to Improve Your Body Image.
For more information, visit for details.