Body image has become a crucial matter in our present society. It has affected both the male and female stereotypes. It is sad to see how individuals have looked down on themselves because of how they view their memories or experiences about their own appearance. This article is directed to promoting positivity to one`s body image.
What is Body Image?
Body Image Definition
Body image constitutes the perception of one`s physical self and the thoughts and feelings that go with it. It relates to how an individual feels about his/her weight, height, or shape including how they sense and control their body as they move.
An individual body image ranges from positive to negative. A negative body image makes one feel unhappy with their appearance, therefore making a person lack confidence, feel awkward with their body shape and even feel embarrassed. This has constituted many issues in individuals both physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Various factors have led to body image matters including family dynamics, the reactions of peers, cultural background, and most especially social media.
Impact of Social Media on Body Image
Body Image and Social Media
Worldwide, there are billions of social media users and it has become a large element of today’s culture. The record shows that 87% of women and 65% of men compare their bodies to the images of figures on social media. This has brought serious negative effects on people in society.
Consistent scrolling through posts, especially that containing images of models and celebrities with defined body shapes evokes negative feelings on how one sees himself/herself. Most of the time these images don’t show the true figure of the person shown on the screen.
The use of Photoshop and filters help to promote ones image on social media. It negatively affects body image because users are always exposed to slim, fit, and ‘defined’ body types. This makes them compare themselves to celebrities and peers.
The youths (both young adults and teenagers) are also affected because they are known for using social media the most. Teenage girls, in particular, are victims of this issue. They will always want to look their best. Seeing those pictures on the media prompt them to take drastic actions. One of these actions is dieting. Dieting is not generally a bad thing when one does it for the right reasons and not because of a poor body image. This so-called dieting has led to eating disorders in youths. This eating disorder leads to low self-esteem and depression in many young lives. It has become of great concern in society.
The effect of social media does not limit to youths alone. Both young and old are victims of this circumstance. In fact, spending more time on the media makes one feel worse about themselves and their body.
Promoting Body Image Positivity
We are surrounded by images of people in their perfect shapes or perfect bodies via social media. It is not easy to copy such perfection. This is why many people, especially young adults have eating disorders or mental health problems. Therefore you should take steps to protect yourself from such things and develop a positive body image. Doing so makes you accept the good and bad qualities of your body. It also boosts your confidence and makes you comfortable in your own skin.
A positive body image means that you have a higher level of physical and mental acceptance of how your body is. It also implies celebrating your natural size and shape. Having a positive body image makes you feel good about yourself and not to quote yourself as “perfect”. It makes you feel that your sense of self-worth does not depend on just your appearance. For people who feel obese or think that they should diet, building a positive attitude towards your body is a great start. Whether you are a boy or a girl, you should learn to embrace such positive attitudes.
Developing a positive body image is essential for a person`s well being both physically and mentally. If you can`t accept yourself, you can`t expect others to do otherwise. Instead, you should be proud of the way you look.
Steps to promoting positive body image from body image disorder
- Accepting and appreciating your body`s capabilities is a great start. Celebrate what your body does like running, playing, dreaming, dancing, etc.
- Remind yourself that “you are beautiful/handsome” no matter how you are. This increases your sense of self-confidence and acceptance that makes you beautiful/handsome. Feeling beautiful or handsome has nothing to do with what you look like.
- You should get yourself together with positive thinkers. It helps you feel good about yourself and your body when you are with supportive people. That includes those that understand the importance of loving yourself for who you naturally are.
- Keep a list of things you love about yourself. Doing this keeps your mind away from negativism surrounding your body.
- Try to wear outfits that you are comfortable in and make you confident. It is said that dressing has an important role in boosting one`s confidence in him/herself.
- Engage yourself in exercise. It helps to relax the mind and make you forget about negative thoughts concerning your body. Do it because you want to keep yourself fit and healthy, not just to cut down some weight.
- When you look into a mirror, do not focus on specific body parts but see yourself as a whole person. Look at yourself the way you would want others to see you. That alone will make you feel more confident.
- Change your routine of worrying about food or calories or your weight to do something for others. Doing this makes you feel good about your body.
- Keep your mind away from negative thoughts like “Your body is not right”. You should build yourself with positive affirmations when you feel down. Tell yourself, “You are looking good”.
- Avoid going into social media all the time. Spending so much time on it exposes you to images that will make you question your body. Engage yourself with the outside world. There is much more than a screen.
Why you should keep to a positive attitude towards your body
As a person, you should learn to develop a positive attitude towards your body. It increases your esteem and cognition. However, social media has made a great impact on people with the image and messages shown there. It makes people, particularly youths compare themselves to those seen on the screen. Don`t do that anymore. You are beautiful the way you are: slim, fat, tall, short, or chubby. God blessed us with amazing features and he loves us that way, so why should we do otherwise. Doing this has caused problems like eating disorders, depression, and even death, for those going into cosmetic surgery. Remember, “Feeling beautiful/handsome has nothing to do with your body image”.