By Ifunanya Obidigbo
It is no news that a lot of ladies feel insecure about their body shape or size and have undergone many life threatening procedures to get the desired look.
Even though exercise, proper dieting and healthy lifestyle can naturally bring about the desired body shape or size, most people hardly have the patience to navigate through the rigours considering how long such could take.
Since negative body image is a major problem for many women as well as girls and constitutes a component of serious disorders, it is of importance to learn how to overcome it.
Here are some tips on how to fight negative body image:
Embrace your genetic make up
It is important to note that our genes make up 25% to 70% of your body, so accept who you have become when it comes to gene it is natural. Your behavioural attitudes, beliefs that affect the impression about oneself can be changed. This is because change begins with you, its within you and it starts with knowing your self worth, value and having a positive mindset towards oneself. It is further important to focus on one’s health rather than wallowing in self pity. Uniqueness differ from person to person, you are unique just the way you are.
Fight, ignore and overlook “Fatism” ( discrimination on the grounds of fatness)
Learn to appreciate and accept people of all sizes and shapes regardless of yours. You should also bear in mind that this life is not balanced at all, some fat ladies desire to get slim and vice versa. With this, it helps you appreciate your own body. There are people who do not have the “perfect body” that you admire, making a list of them could be useful. Then ask yourself if their appearance influence your feelings towards them. In addition, remember that society’s standards have significantly changed over the years. In the 1940s and 50s, women like Marilyn Monroe and Mae West who were considered ideal beauties were full-bodied but in our society today, they would be considered “overweight”.
Have a positive body conception
Unlike the male, females are liable to have more negative view about their bodies. They are more stressed about their physical appearance. It has been revealed that 1/4 of your self esteem is the result of how positive or negative your body image is. People think the size of the body would determine one’s self esteem. This is the mistake most people tend to make as they hide in the shadows so that they won’t be laughed at. Looking at the bright side, your body size shouldn’t define who you are. That’s uniqueness on your side and it should be rocked unapologetically.
Inquire about what you see on the media.
Most individuals are paranoid over certain media messages they receive, although these media portray certain messages and pump ideas into the mind of many girls and women about their bodies. These ladies are compelled to compare themselves with women portrayed as successful by the media. This is because of the amount of toxic messages they digest on a daily basis. Regrettably, majority of these ladies do not match up in terms of having an “ideal” body with the models presented by the media. This is the largest contrariety, an average model is 5’11 and weighs 117 pounds while the average woman is 5’3/8 and weighs 166.2 pounds. This discrepancy is leading the female gender to feel insecure and negative about their bodies that they go as far as taking extreme measures to reach an unobtainable image. The media present 1.8% of ladies who have that “ideal” body. Why? Because they want to catch the attention of the remaining 96% who do not match up to the models, thus reset the mind such ladies.
Besides, with technological enhancement, some of these images shown in the media have been computer enhanced and airbrushed. There are various application that tampers with the shape of models’ hips and waists which have often been slimmed and their breasts enlarged to get the “ideal” shape. Moreover, It is very important to begin to query these images presented in the media and enquire why ladies should feel compelled to “live up” to these unrealistic standards of shape.
Make friend with your Body
Being unable to fight negative body image can make you depressed, shy, have social perplexity. It could further lead to eating disorder. It is high time women start appreciating their bodies no matter their size, and never make comparison with women presented in the media. When you begin to challenge these images presented and realise your value is not attached to these unrealistic images, you’ll love your self the more.
In “Body Wars”, Margo Maine addresses various issues which contribute to women’s discontentment with their bodies within a sociocultural perspective. The book also brought to light the aspect of the beauty industry, like the duties of fashion, modeling, beauty pageantry, plastic surgery, and media influences. In her book she teaches women how to make peace with their bodies, reasons to give up dieting, reclaim their bodies and offers ways to help women love their bodies.
Here are some examples of ways in which you can love your body:
- Allow your inner individuality and beauty shine.
- Ascertain that your body is perfect the way it is.
- Never let your size restrain you from doing things you love.
- The time you use criticizing your appearance, use it to admire yourself.
Walk with your head high with pride and confidence in yourself as a person, not a size.
- Be your body’s ally and advocate, not its enemy.
Negative body image is a problem and has damaging effects on women’s self-esteem, which can lead to depression, and eating disorder. Change begins with you. Self-love, respect and the end of this prejudice starts with one person which is you. When you love yourself, people would love you. When someone you know or care about suffers a negative body image, please seek professional help and cease the cycle of body hatred.