Body Image

How do you feel about your body? Chances are you probably don't think it's good enough.

Many people in our culture worry obsessively about how to change the shape of their bodies. This obsession partly stems from a steady diet of television and magazine images where bodies are always in perfect shape.  The high premium placed on physical attractiveness encourages us to believe that physical imperfection is an indication of weakness. We begin to believe that we can control our lives by controlling our bodies.

Since body-esteem and self-esteem are closely linked, worry about body image can interfere with relationships and distort our sense of self. If you want to begin to look more healthfully and happily at yourself, here are some tips to build a more positive body image:

Stop criticising yourself in the mirror

The body you see in the mirror maintains and nourishes your life on this planet. Without it, you wouldn't be here. Treat it with the respect and the love it deserves. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. View yourself as you want others to view you- as a whole person.

Refuse to accept critical comments about your body

It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of self-acceptance. Don’t accept critical comments about your body from those who expect you to conform to their expectations.

Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body

Work with your body, not against it. Appreciate all that your body can do.

Keep a list of things you like about yourself

Things that aren't related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Review your list from time to time. Add to it as you become more able to appreciate your own strengths and positive qualities.

Remember that being attractive to others is more than just a skin-deep response

When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence and self-acceptance that makes you appealing, regardless of whether or not you physically resemble a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.

Read/view something other than the popular media

Digital technology, surgical enhancement, and celebrity culture means we have few media images that reflect the way real men and women look.    Become a critical viewer of social and media messages, and reject images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad.