Boost Your Body Image

by Jen on August 20, 2007

 

By Dinsa Sachan
Body image is the little sistah of self-image. It’s how you perceive your physical appearance and what you think others make of your looks. A 2006 worldwide survey conducted by Dove found that 90% of women want to change at least one aspect of their body (body weight being number one). How do you think you perceive your own body? How good is your body image?

 

Here’s a quick check:

1. Do you continuously fret about your body?
2. Do you look into the mirror again and again?
3. Do you avoid social gatherings because you think people will find you unattractive?
4. Do you get upset when people make negative remarks about your body?
5. Do you feel a tinge of envy while flipping through magazines that display beautiful fashion models?

If you answered yes to most of them, you probably do suffer from a poor body image. But don’t worry. Have patience. This is a psychological condition you can get rid of. Read on.

Two Cautions to Start With:

1. Don’t be mislead by the media: If you are one of those who feel miserable looking at the beautiful, toned bodies of models on the ramp, sit up. Point number one: most of these girls don’t look half as good in reality. Their faces are heavy on make-up, and the actual images you see splashed across the magazines have been altered digitally. Don’t believe us? Watch this Dove documentary.

2. Close your ears on the critters: Family members and friends have a strong impact on our body image. We are continuously receiving feedback from them about our bodies. When this feedback is negative in nature, it is bound to worsen our body image. Most of the people who crab about your body have poor self esteem themselves, and their demeaning comments are only reflections of their own poor body image.

Tips to Boost Your Body Image

1. Challenge Yourself: If you find yourself hiding behind the closet and avoiding social life because you think you are unattractive, challenge yourself by going out and meeting people. It’s easier said than done, but the only way you are going to conquer this is by breaking out of your shell.

2. Focus on the positive aspects: We are conditioned to focus on our flaws all the time. Make it a point to praise your noteworthy aspects when you look into the mirror. Think of ways you can highlight a good feature and add to its beauty.

3. Look for good points in others: Whenever you meet new people, look for their good qualities, other than physical traits. When you begin to focus on others’ positive qualities, you begin to look for those qualities in yourself too.

4. Develop other interests: If you find yourself fretting about your body too much, try developing other interests. If you have something constructive to occupy your mind, you won’t be tempted to think about your body again and again.

5. Focus on complementing your beauty: Looking good isn’t just about having a pretty face and toned body. If you look around, you will find that the people who really are attractive to others are the ones who have great personalities. They may not necessarily have Hollywood faces, but lure others with their communication skills. Develop a good dress sense, too.

Why it isn’t worth bothering about:

Your facial features are genetically predetermined and so is your body type and how thin you can get. There’s no use fretting about things which you have little control over. And there’s always going to a more beautiful, smarter person than you. Look the best you can. That’s the best thing you can do.

Dinsa Sachan is a champion for healthy body image. Reach her at dinsasachan [at] gmail [dot] com.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous October 6, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Great points!!! I really like number 1. In fact, maybe *Jen* Magazine could take a hint from this and change some of their photos. Has anyone else found pictures in the magazine to be setting up an unrealistic standard of beauty? Many of these girl’s faces are literally plastered… Sorry to say something negative, but it’s been on my mind for a while. You guys are right on about everything you say… you just don’t always show the sensitivity you profess in your table of contents.

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Anonymous October 14, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Dude, I totally agree with you… you should put pics of REAL girls on your site, not all dolled up all the time you know? Some just normal everyday ones we can relate to!

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Anonymous December 31, 2007 at 2:16 pm

wow this really worked for me i cant believe how different i feel now in comparison to this time last year

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kalesha December 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm

That was some great information thank you

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