I’m too fat. My legs are too short. If only I fit into a size 3; then I’d be happy. Or if my nose was smaller I’d go out more. Does any of this sound familiar to you? In today’s society there are so many misconceptions about how a body should be that sometimes you may feel lost inside yourself. The media would have us believe that in order to fit into and be accepted among your peers you need to be ultra thin, gorgeous, and never eat. This article is an attempt to inform you about the misconceptions about how a body should be, and how that leads to body image problems.
Body Image is Important
No matter which way you look at it or how much you try to convince yourself that your body image doesn’t matter- it does. You body image is how you perceive yourself; how you feel inside and out. There is a direct relationship between your body image and self esteem. If you are constantly feeling like you’re not good enough, or you don’t like the way you look in the mirror, or you criticize every little thing about yourself; your self esteem goes way down and so does your body image. Some people can actually become depressed if they talk themselves down too much. Here are some common misconceptions about what your body should be, what kind of problems it can lead to, and how to change it:
“The Perfect Body” This is a huge misconception because there isn’t one. There may be one body type that the media is displaying in magazines, on TV or in newspapers, but that is not the only beautiful body type out there. Look around you; there a many different shapes and sizes and you are one of them. Don’t tell yourself that your body is not beautiful. This is a dangerous road to travel because you may start believing it. By believing it you may then fall into dangerous eating behaviors that can lead to eating disorders. It is very destructive thinking and will only lead to body image problems. So stop it now.
What you see in the mirror is who you are. This is a very big misconception when it comes to our entire body image. Yes physical appearance is part of your body image but definitely not the whole. While people see you on the outside at first glance, there is more to you. How you feel, what you love and don’t love, your hopes and dreams, you strengths and weaknesses. Your body image is everything about you, not just your face, or your butt, or your stomach. This misconception makes it very difficult for you and others to establish good relationships. Friendships are built on things such as trust, and love; not about her great legs.
If I eat less I will look better. Do you really know anyone who eats less and looks better? They may at first begin to be thinner, but as times goes on they look worse than they did to begin with. This is an extremely dangerous misconception to get caught up in as it can lead to eating disorders which is an entirely different subject. The key to feeling better about your body is a healthy diet which includes all the major food groups (and even some treats now and then) and exercise. You’ve heard it from all the professionals; diet and exercise. Well it’s true. So don’t sell yourself short literally. Eat better and give your body some needed exercise.
These are only a few of the many misconceptions about body image. The most important things for you to remember as you try to improve your body image are:
1.Your body is unique and has its own beauty
2.Body image is more than skin deep. Do some soul searching to find out who you really are and be confident in finding you.
3.Destructive thinking can lead to disastrous outcomes such as eating disorders; so be positive.
As you become more confident in yourself your body image will improve and become more positive. Don’t fall prey to the common misconceptions about how a body should be as it will lead to more body image problems.