Culturally, we have this perverse notion that poor body image is a sign of modesty. It’s not. And people, especially women, who accept and appreciate the way they look can be perceived as narcissistic. They’re not. What do you feel when you look in the mirror? Gratitude? Acceptance? Contentment? Or disappointment and shame? Poor body image is an issue that many of us struggle with. It doesn’t matter how many articles we read that tell us it’s what’s on the inside that counts; standing in front of a harshly-lit changing room mirror can make us feel defeated.
How do you feel about your body? If you don’t immediately answer “Great!” with a smile—don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a very common problem for people today, especially women. With advertisements and images of a specific body type constantly bombarding us wherever we are or whatever we’re doing—on television, on our phones, on social media, on our commutes and while we’re out shopping—it’s easy to see how we can begin to feel bad about our bodies. Building a positive body image is a good way to counteract this negative stream of images we are encouraged to compare ourselves to.
I hope this piece has given you some valuable information and useful suggestions on how to improve your body image, but most of all I hope that this piece has reminded you that you can love yourself exactly as you are. Whether you want to change your body or not, you can always start from a place of self-love and compassion.
In fact, you’ll likely find that you’re more successful if you embark on your journey towards a healthy and happy body with a healthy and happy body image already in place.
If you’re in the middle of a downward spiral of body negativity, please know that you’re not on your own, and your feelings are quite common! There are many people out there struggling with the same issues, and there are tons of places you can turn to for support and encouragement.
A person with a positive body image will feel confident in their appearance and in what their body can do. However, media messages, past experiences, and life changes can all lead to a negative self-image, which causes a person to feel unhappy with their body. In some cases, this can lead to mental health issues, such as depression.
If feelings about one’s body are causing distress, it may be beneficial to see a mental health professional. They can help a person explore the reasons for these concerns and find ways to resolve them. CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process.