June 18, 2020

Stop comparing your body to someone else’s body. We are girls and women of all shapes and sizes.  There is not one body that looks like the other because each body is unique. We are all beautiful. Honor your beautiful body. 

So exactly was in WHAT IS BODY IMAGE?

 “Body Image” is the way you view yourself and how you look. Having a positive body image means that most of the timeyou see yourself accurately; you feel comfortable in your body and you feel good about the way you look. It’s also how you imagine other people see you.

Our body image is a collection of thoughts, beliefs and feelings that we have about our own body and how we compare these ideas about body image to others.

Here are some facts that I found interesting and at the same time made me sad by the statistics of girls and women and how they view their bodies. 

Research suggests that 80% of adult women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and this problem starts at a very early age. In 1st-3rd grade, 42% of girls want to lose weight and 80% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat. This is very sad to me that these young girls feel this way. The problem is magazines and social media. 

A friend told me that her grandchild was with her and she grabbed her stomach and said, “I want to cut this fat off.” This precious little girl was six years old. It breaks my heart that our body image starts so young.   

So you may ask, what shapes our body image? How you feel about all of the parts of your body make up your own unique body!

Your body image develops early in life. When you are born, the first thing the nurse or doctor will do is measure your length and weight to determine if you are in the “normal range.” This is the first time your will be compared to with others, and it will continue for the rest of your life. 

You will already have been labeled “overweight” or “underweight.” This label is stamped into the consciousness of your mother. Every time you were brought to the pediatrician for a routine checkup, you were compared to the statistical data and national charts. Your mother was indirectly taught how to feel about the size of your body.

We receive strong messages about body image from television, magazines, films, and other social media. Most of the false beliefs we have about the way women “should” look like come from models and celebrities we see in the media. Models and celebrities do not look like most people. 

Here is a FACT:Models weigh 23% less than women who are not models. 

Look around you and notice women’s bodies. We are all different. In the real world women are much more diverse and unique than those we see in the media. My body is unique! Your body is unique!

Your body image can be very positive or very negative. You may feel good about certain parts of your body or the way you look, and not as good about other parts. This is normal!  

A lot of girls and women struggle with body image body. It’s common to struggle with body image, no matter who you are.

What is important is how can we turn the negative body image to a positive body image? 

When you accept the way you look, and feel good about your body most of the time, you have a positive body image. Your appearance might not match your family’s ideal or ideal in the media. This doesn’t matter. It’s not the outside that matters, but having a positive body image is about how YOU feel about the way you look.

Part of having a positive body image is thinking about the way you feel and what your body can physically do, not just the way you look. If you have a positive body image, you see yourself as you really are. 

Most girls and women who have positive body image know that certain parts of their body may not be the same as someone else’s, but they accept, appreciate and love the differences. They don’t compare themselves to others. We all have a unique body. It’s ours!  Our body is a miracle! 

Our bodies are amazing. They are what make us alive! We can do amazing things with our bodies! Let’s honor each part of our body and what it does!!!

If you don’t have a positive body image, I invite you to create a positive body image. Here are some suggestions on creating a positive body image. 

Your body image is not about how you look, but how you feel about the way you look, and there are many ways you can create a more positive body image without changing your body. 

You can begin to think differently about your body by paying attention when you feel bad about your body. Did you weigh yourself? Did you look at a magazine? Did you talk to someone who is negative about their body? Did you watch a TV show, go online, look at another form of media? How did this make you feel? 

Check in with yourself when you are not feeling positive about your body image. Most importantly, treat your body with respect and kindness. Love your body, it’s the only one you have. 

Stop comparing your body to someone else’s body. This is how you can honor yourself and all girls and women of all shapes and sizes. Together, we can create a shift in how we think about our bodies. Together, we can love our bodies for their own, special uniqueness. Most important be compassionate with yourself if you want to make changes. Not for others, but for yourself. 

I invite you to ponder these questions:

  1. How do you feel when you look in the mirror?
  2. How do you feel when you see pictures of attractive people in magazines, on TV, or online or social media?
  3. What do you think other people think about how you look? Does this matter to you?
  4. Do you ever avoid activities, such as exercising or having sex because you feel uncomfortable showing your body?
  5. How do you usually reply when people compliment how you look?
  6. What are five favorite things you like about your body? I challenge you to name more if you would like to.
  7. Do you often feel jealous of other people for the way they look?
  8. Do you compare myself to others? How does this make you feel?

I hope that by exploring how you feel about your body will provide you some ways to love your body. It’s perfect. You are perfect. 

Create affirmation cards you can put somewhere and read them everyday as a reminder that your body is perfect just the way it is. 

Look at yourself naked in the mirror, tell yourself that your body is perfect just the way it is. Really look at parts of your body and remember that each part does something to keep you alive. Each part does something that serves a purpose and function. Just that alone is a miracle. Thank each part of your body for keeping you alive and able to do the functions that they do.