Feeling self conscious? Struggling to accept the way you look? or are you the opposite and love the way you look?
Whatever side of the fence you currently sit on, this blog post is still relevant to you. Body image is a massive topic, and is imbedded into society and us as humans. Lets talk about it, lets start our journey to accept ourselves.
" The problem isn't with your body, the problem is what you think of it and what you think of yourself "
"Body image" is the way that someone perceives their body and assumes that others perceive them this way. This image is often affected by family, friends, social pressure and the media. THE MEDIA BEING THE BIGGEST INFULENCE!!!
We all have our good days and our bad days, our "fat" days and our "skinny" days. Our days we have positive thoughts about ourselves, and other days where it is all gloomy and negative. Our body image is something that is always going to be with us as we adapt and change as humans through our natural aging process.
We are going to have periods where we feel more chunky, we have a few more wrinkles and stretchmark's appearing. Our body is adapting and changing as we grow older.
I for one have always struggled with my body image. When I was younger I was bullied for my weight and my hair. Yes back then, I embraced the back combing a little to much. Maybe a few of you can relate to that "phase". But that's what it is right? phases of what you should look like. That expectation and keeping up with the "trend". I always wanted to fit in, but I never quite got there. I was to "weird" and was of the larger size.
A journey to self love and acceptance of your body image starts inside. It starts within. We have to retrain our thinking patterns of negative thoughts. We have to explore, we have to work on us from the inside in order to begin our journey to accepting our body image.
I for one have been on this journey for the past few years and counselling has helped me explore my body image, what I think and feel and adapt my thinking to like the person I see in the mirror. I used to never be able to let anyone see me without my eye brows fully done... now I embrace being natural any chance I get. My eyebrows are no longer my armour, more like an accessories.
Many people want to change the way they look, can you relate?
Looking at surgery?
Weight loss pills?
Just wishing you looked different?
I just want to let you know, the earth only has one you. You are unique and changing yourself alters you being you.
In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future.
58% of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight.
How does that make you feel? Are you one of those statistics?
I have had surgery, I will always be honest about that. I have had cosmetic surgery on my breasts as I had a size difference that was not something I could hide as I got older throughout my teens. It prevented me from wearing bras comfortably, bikinis, lower cut tops and I was so conscious. It affected my sex life and relationships. I went for a natural look so it was not noticeable as I just wanted to feel normal, I wanted to fit in, I had a very negative body image. I get why people would want some surgery. Confidence is key, but surgery for the right reasons and not keeping up with the media.
How can body image affect mental health?
If you are having these thoughts and feelings about how you look, you might be struggling with your body image, you can answer that. You may find everyday tasks like eating, getting dressed or going out with friends becoming more difficult. It can start to consume your mental health and become an issue in your day to day life.
I feel it is very key to highlight body image can affect both women and males equally.
It can lead to feelings of:
Obsessing over how you look
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help you work towards accepting yourself. It can help you work through your feelings towards your body image. It can help you process, adapt your way of thinking and provide a space for you to develop a healthier 'view' of yourself and replace your negative internal voice with more positive perceptions.
It can help you love yourself inside and out. It can help build postivity!
" To me being beautiful is being comfortable in your own skin, its about knowing and accepting who you are"
How you can support a friend struggling with body image!
If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with their body image, here are some ways that your support can help.
Talk to them and encourage them to focus on what they like about themselves and what they can do – not just how they look. Help them to see all their good points and the things you like about them – these can be simple things, like being a good sport, a caring friend or making people laugh.
If you're finding it difficult to know what to say, writing their good points as a list together can be another way to help them. They can keep the list for the days they are struggling as a reminder of all the good things they like about themselves.
Sit with your friend in front of a mirror. Together, thank your body for all the positive things it does. You and your friend might find this strange at first, but by doing this together, you can encourage your friend and show them how to see positives in their body. It can help them to learn to love themselves.
Support your friend to have a positive online space. If you know that your friend is struggling, you could send them a message to let them know they matter and remind your friend how brilliant they are.
If you think they’re feeling overwhelmed, encourage them to see their GP for professional help.