The way you see and feel about yourself is vital to your success and happiness. Attaining a positive body image is important in this process. There are many aspects of your life that are affected by your body image. In such a fast paced, busy world our body image is usually given the least amount of time to grow and develop. Our self image of our body is more than just our physical appearance. Our self image is spiritual and emotional development as well. When these things are ignored we suffer in all three areas. There are many reasons why a positive body image is important.
It probably comes as no surprise to hear that your body image plays a big role in the relationships you have with other people. Does being around people who are beautiful and confident make you feel insecure? Well it may be because you feel insecure about your own self image. A poor self image can create barriers in your relationship; you become stagnant. A positive self image is crucial in marriages, friendships, professional careers, etc. In studies done on body image, those with poor body image were less likely to develop intimate relationships. Or in other words, your relationship with others is very superficial. It is impossible to develop any kind of relationship like this. Do you like to be around anyone who is constantly putting themselves down; saying negative things about themselves? No! Nobody likes to be around people like that. It is important to have a positive body image in order to build and maintain personal and professional relationships. Learning to like who you are is important in sustaining any and all relationships.
Studies have shown that the effects of a negative body image can be disastrous. One of these effects just happens to be eating disorders. More common in women due to the unrealistic ideal body they are trying to achieve, is anorexia and bulimia. The media today is famous for using thin gorgeous women in magazines, TV, and newspaper ads. We can’t even go to the mall without seeing a drop dead gorgeous model with everything on her we want. This has become our ideal; what we want to be. This is not only unhealthy but unrealistic. Only two percent of the population will ever come close to looking like a supermodel and none will achieve it without a lot of money and cosmetic surgery. Women are longing to be thinner and some will go to extremes to see results. Exercising excessively; eating too much and throwing it up; or eating too little or nothing at all. These behaviors can be avoided if we will only begin to foster a positive self image.
What are we teaching our children? When they see us telling ourselves that we’re too fat or this needs to be firmer; how does that affect them? There was some extensive research done on the effects of body image from Health Canada. “Slimness in western cultures is associated not only with success and sophistication, but with character virtues. Conversely, obesity is the opposite of all these things, particularly in the case of women, is associated with failure and collapse of self-discipline.” Self awareness begins early in our childhood; often before we begin forming words. The impact of a negative self image during childhood and through adolescence can have lasting affects throughout the rest of your life. No one wants to hurt their own child; not intentionally anyways. But this is exactly what you are doing. Having a positive body image is important to the welfare of you, but also to those around you. Your children; neighbors; family members; you get the point. Having a positive body image will help you feel more successful in all aspects of your life. So start small and begin the change today.