How to Deal with Poor Body Image
It’s an accepted status quo that there are certain things you shouldn’t ask a lady; one is her age, and another is her weight. While for many the idea of things that can be or cannot be asked may seem dated, it is often indicative of a deeper issue, that of weight stigma. The number on the weight scale for many people across the gender spectrum is usually a figure of their self-worth. This is not only a sign of poor body image but of low confidence as well. Below are a number of ways on how to deal with poor body image.
Just Losing the Weight is not Always the Answer
Many people are led to believe that if they could just lose some weight, then their lives would magically change forever. However, as many people who have struggled with poor body image will testify, wearing clothes three sizes smaller does not guarantee happiness. This is because how you view yourself has very little to do with your weight. While losing weight has its fair share of health and confidence benefits, the narrative that has been pushed by the media is of one ‘perfect’ body to fit all.
This belief consequently leads many people into unhealthy patterns of shaming, hating, and blaming their bodies for not being ‘perfect.’ The biggest battle when it comes to poor body image is not always about dealing with the physical weight but the mental struggles. When you settle the conflicts within, then you may find the contentment you seek.
Practicing self-acceptance is often easier said than done. This is propagated by a society that tells many people that their bodies are not good enough, and for many victims, this leads to self-loathing, low self-esteem, and diminished confidence. While societal ideologies are deeply ingrained in how people go through life, it is always inspiring to see people stand up against these norms. Lizzo is one example of such a rebellion and, in the same breath, an advocate for body positivity and acceptance. She has worked tirelessly to create a space for herself and her art to be heard and seen even if this is not what many are used to.
Though many people have rallied behind her music and what she represents, there is a lot to be said about Lizzo and weight stigma that surrounds her. Nonetheless, it is stimulating to borrow a leaf from her and remember that healing comes from accepting oneself.
Be Kind to Yourself
Poor body image is not something one is born with, but instead something that is learned. One of the hallmark traits of negative body image is treating your body poorly. However, in a world that continually pushes you to fit into one box, being kind to yourself and your body is a great act of rebellion. Learning how to be kind to yourself will help combat the negativity, body shaming, and body hate.
Kindness involves a wide array of things. It could be as simple as practicing positive daily affirmations about your body, buying clothes that fit you and make you feel beautiful, or even just preparing a healthy meal for yourself. These small acts of kindness will go a long way in helping you appreciate yourself.
Build a Support System
The importance of being surrounded by positive people who love you just as you are cannot be underrated. Many people seek affirmation from the people around them, and if those influences can work to push you forward, then you are able to focus less on the negativity. Your support system should consist of friends and family who help you feel loved, whole, and safe.
Poor body image can often lead many people down the path of disordered eating so as to fit into the idealized body. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort and time, you can build a better relationship with yourself and your body.