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Body image is a person's subjective picture or mental image of their own body. It is what people think about their bodies when they look in the mirror; it's their perception of themselves.
The 'Perfect Body'
Society's beauty standard is something that has changed numerous times over the years. in the 90s, If you asked a girl what her perfect body would look like she'd probably describe a tall slim, model-like shape. Whereas, if you asked the same girl the same question today, she would describe more of an hourglass, curvy shape.
Nowadays, if a woman doesn't have a body like the Kardashians, she isn't seen as desirable. These standards have led to insecurities and women feeling more pressured than ever before. A study by researchers at York University in Toronto revealed that when exposed to idealised body types, women felt an increased level of dissatisfaction with their own weight and appearance.
This has also led to an increase in cosmetic surgeries such as BBLs- an estimated 396,105 people did this surgery in 2020, a 19.3% increase from 2016. Having a curvier figure is the new popular aesthetic.
It could be argued that social media has played a big role in this. Every time you scroll through a social media platform such as Instagram, it is inevitable that you'll see hundreds of females with the 'slim thick' body that is portrayed as 'perfect' in today's society. Therefore, this makes it the body type everyone is meant to have when in reality it is not.
How can society become more body positive? Firstly, there needs to be more inclusivity and body diversity. Brands need to ensure that they are making products that are suitable for all body types- not just one. For example, Fashion Nova is a brand that is popular for making clothing that fits curvier girls however, they need to make sure they focus on making clothes that girls with slimmer bodies can also wear.
Changes such as the introduction of plus-size models in the 1970s are what society needs to implement in order to create a positive space in terms of body image. Women of a bigger or smaller size shouldn't feel as though they don't 'fit in' or don't look good just because of what society pushes as the ideal body shape or size.
Ultimately, the main thing is to not compare. Although self-comparison is a natural human trait, people need to learn to love themselves for who they are and how they look. We were all made differently for a reason and thus we need to learn to embrace our differences rather than try to be and look like everyone else. We need to appreciate our flaws, imperfections and embrace our insecurities because that is what makes us unique.
No body type is perfect- there is no such thing.