What Is Body Image?
Body image is a mental representation of how you see yourself. This is what you think about yourself. This is how you see yourself, the thoughts that you have, the idea, the conclusion that you’ve made in your head, about how you see yourself. Even when you’re fit, you still see somebody who is unacceptable. You see somebody that’s maybe overweight. Often, how you see yourself when you look in the mirror may not necessarily match reality. Body image is the perception of aesthetics or sexual attractiveness of your body. It can be negative or positive, healthy or unhealthy.
The 4 Aspects of Body Image
- Perceptual: This is how you see yourself.
- Effective: This is how you feel about the way that you look.
- Cognitive: How you think about what you believe about your body
- Behavioral: How you sense, how you move, how you control, and how you treat your body. These are the actions you take based on how you perceive your body, how you feel about it, and what you think about it.
Signs and symptoms of having a negative body image
- Comparison to others and feeling inadequate.
- Feeling ashamed or embarrassed about your appearance.
- Low self confidence and constant negative self talk.
- Discomfort or awkwardness just being in your body.
- Seeing specific parts of your body or your face as distorted or wrong, crash dieting, binging, purging, acts of control with food.
- Overly concerned with how you look and hiding in clothes as a result.
And all of this kind of talk: “I feel fat,” “I hate my body.” “I hate the way I look. “”This is disgusting.” “I don’t want to show this.” “i need to change this. “”I need to go on a diet.” All of these things that we say so often, so flippantly, so casually, these are actually all stemming from a place of negative body image.
What Causes Negative Body Image?
Body image does not happen in isolation. We have been bombarded from the time that we are young. So lets start with a little bit of self-compassion, even if you actually have a negative body image. Culture, family, friends, peers, media, fashion industry, TV, trauma, accidents, discrimination, subtle micro-aggressions, illness, skin conditions, health issues, fat talk, or feeling fat. We don’t pick this up on our own. We don’t develop this “fat talk” on our own. We hear it on TV, from our family, and countless external sources. This is what we’re fighting against, you guys, It’s a lot. So let’s just acknowledge how real this is. It is not your fault.
What Is Positive Body Image?
Let’s talk about a positive body image. This is the understanding that our self-worth does not depend on our appearance, period. Positive body image is an appreciation and genuine love for your keyword, “whole” body, not just your physical body. I’m talking about your health, your energy, your mind, your feelings, your emotions, your bliss, all five layers of your body. You are so much more than your outermost physical, meat layer suit of yourself. You are so much more than that, and appreciating and having a genuine love for your whole body is, to me, a positive body image.
How To Love Your Body
It is 100% possible for you to appreciate and love your body and practice gratitude while still knowing that you have to lose weight for objective health reasons. Change the way you talk about your body. Take care of your body with intention. Ask for help. Share your stories, release the past. Avoid comparison mode; your body is yours and nobody else’s. Wear comfortable clothes that look great on you. See yourself as a whole person versus focusing on body parts or features. Be aware of critical messages on the media and how they impact you. And with that said, lastly, check the damn source. Most experts have horrible body image issues and unhealthy practices.