Why We Should Keep A Positive Body Image

We are constantly bombarded with the message that our bodies are worthless and that we should hate our bodies no matter what shape, size or shape we happen to be. We are constantly reminded of the ways in which our bodies are ugly, that we should be ashamed to be ourselves and that we should look a certain way in order to fit into our society’s beauty ideals. It’s enough to make you want to take the pill and go to the gym…

We’re bombarded with the message that our bodies are worthless and that we should hate our bodies… A positive body image is a means to a healthier, more fulfilling life. When we are constantly reminded that we are worthless and that our bodies are not what they should be, we develop an exaggerated fear of our bodies and our lives. When we take positive steps to be better and to love ourselves, the message we send, the body image we reinforce and the stress to which we are subjected are decreased.

I’ve talked about how, as a woman in her 30s, I feel the pressure to be a certain size in order to get married. I’ve talked about how as a young woman, I felt the pressure my whole life to be skinny because I had to have “fun” or some other reason than health. I’ve talked about how as a young woman, I was so sure I didn’t have the body to achieve great things, that I even believed I was ugly and looked foolish in “appropriate” clothing.

All of this is why I believe everyone should start accepting themselves for the human being they are at all times.

What does a body image look like at all times? It can be a very positive body image or it can be a very negative body image but it should be a healthy one. A healthy body image should mean that you have a firm grip on who you are and no matter what happens to you in your life, you will always know who you are. When the world around you tells you you are worthless because of your body , you can always take it all back with a positive outlook. 

So, how do we do this? 

It’s not rocket science, I know you’ve been looking for the answer to this.

1.       Start a conversation with yourself. Make it a thing to talk to yourself. Be comfortable talking to yourself no matter what. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it should be an active practice. Go through your daily routine and say to yourself “what do you look like now and how did it come about?” If you are feeling unhappy with your body, stop. Take action. If you are feeling insecure about your body, stop. Take action. If you don’t feel you are good enough for yourself then stop and take some action. If you are still going in the opposite direction of what matters to you, then take action.

2.       Become aware of how your body is being defined by society. When you define your body in these terms, you are essentially reinforcing the harmful and false beauty standards society has set. Don’t let it happen. If you cannot bring yourself to look in the mirror and define your “good enough” ideal body, the next best thing is to make sure you look at yourself in the mirror. Try to get outside and look at yourself.

3.       Try and be an example. When you go to the gym or have a special exercise, try to be as good as you can. Don’t beat yourself up or try and fool yourself. Take care of yourself and be the best you can.

4.       Go to a special class. Take time to walk your dog or do some other kind of physical activity. If you are going to be in a group of friends, go to the gym together. If you are the boss go to the gym with the workers.

5.       Ask a lot of questions. Ask about your body. Ask about other people’s bodies and learn how your body would look like if it was theirs. 

6.       Go to a beach. Go to a park. Go for a hike.