Body image is the perception of the body, as seen in a mirror and in a person’s mind relating to positive and negative experiences, memories, and their idea of the ideal height, weight, and shape. Body positivity is defined as the positive perception an individual has about his or her body. A positive body image can help individuals focus on the more important aspects of life, like family, work, and social life rather than dwelling on body image issues.
Issues Surrounding Body Image
Body image is a widely discussed topic these days because the number of people who have trouble dealing with it has increased over the years. From simple peer pressure to social pressure received from social media, many individuals, especially teens and young adults, deal with a lot of criticism on their looks. This leads to psychological and physical problems like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
People with a negative body image tend to have low self-esteem and are more than often forced to retreat into a shell, away from society. This negative outlook can lead to more serious issues like body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), where an individual strongly believes that their whole body or a specific part is imperfect and takes severe measures to supposedly fix it. These could involve measures like plastic surgery, extreme diets, and severe weight loss.
Body positivity is achieved when an individual knows to accept, care for and celebrate the body they have. Life, typically, is known to continuously throw challenges at us and one thing we should not be worrying about is our body image.
The Body Positive Community, which was started in 1996, emphasizes the importance of loving and accepting the body as it is. According to them, everybody struggles with some form of body image issues during their lifetime but the important thing is how you overcome it and learn to love your body to find peace in life. Being fat, skinny, dark, or pale skinned has nothing to do with making you a good or bad person.
An important factor that young individuals and adults with body image issues should imbibe is that outer appearance has nothing to do with characteristics. And once you learn to love your body, you will automatically find that the world you live in isn’t that bad after all.
One might still want to go on a healthy diet, lose weight, and tone up, but that would only be because of personal health goals and not because of society’s standards. And once you achieve this state of mind, there will be a definite improvement in overall confidence, self-esteem, and self-awareness. This, in turn, can reduce the chances of falling into mental and physical disorders.
The next time you look in the mirror and wonder if your body looks good, simply remember that no one is perfect and it is okay to have some flaws; they make you unique.
- “Body Image.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 June 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_image.
- “The Importance of Body Positivity.” The Rocky Mountain Collegian, 7 Feb. 2018, collegian.com/2018/02/the-importance-of-body-positivity/.
- “FAQ.” Welcome to The Body Positive, www.thebodypositive.org/faq.
- Andrew, Scottie. “The Body-Positive Movement Promotes Unhealthy Habits among Overweight People, New Research Claims.” Newsweek, 24 June 2018, www.newsweek.com/body-positivity-promotes-unhealthy-habits-study-says-992829.
- lisalockwood2015. “Emme Partners With Woman Within to Promote Body Positivity.” WWD, WWD, 25 June 2018, wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/emme-partners-with-woman-within-to-promote-body-positivity-1202726893/.