CW: This article mentions negative body image which could be distressing to some readers.
This article will discuss the challenges we all may encounter on a daily basis with negative body image and how normal it is in everyday life, even when we don't realise it. I'll also share my personal experience. Our body image is formed by the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs we have about our bodies and how we look. This includes our shape, size, weight, gender identity, and the way our body functions for us.
I’ve struggled with my body image for most of my life. From being short and on the chubbier side (my friends love my thick and rosy cheeks, but I disagree). And having multiple surgeries on my hand (but I’ve been told it's not noticeable). However, that is only the beginning and there is a lot to cover. So, let’s start.
When we first open our eyes in the morning, we usually go through a routine, and mine used to be scrolling through social media for an hour to see how many likes, comments, and views I got on Instagram. Then I would look through other people's posts, and it always seemed like their posts had more views and likes, and it appeared as if they had a 'perfect life.'
Seeing other people's goddess-like physiques and flawlessly fitting garments makes you rethink certain decisions. I don't understand why we think that way and leap to the conclusion that other individuals don't have difficulties when, in fact, they do.
My biggest worry used to be gazing in the mirror and not liking the person I saw. All of the flaws began to pile up one by one. Then I'd try to conceal those flaws with cosmetics, but it never looked like what we see on social media. Today's social media platforms allow us to apply filters that remove acne, spots, blemishes, and markings, among other things.
Having slightly larger eyes or slightly blurred skin may not sound like much, but unfortunately, it can lead us to believe a false sense of reality. This can cause a lot of self-confidence issues as you become so used to seeing picture-perfect celebs in images that do not reflect their natural appearance.
Instead of using fake beauty filters, why not accept our flaws and show the world that your body does not define who you are? I believe that as a society, we must embrace the fact that we all have diverse body types. It is said that ‘Young people are more likely to suffer with negative emotions about their appearance; 65% of under 18s thought there was an ‘ideal’ body type compared with 45% of adults.’
Shopping For Clothes
Going clothing shopping may be a headache for some people, including me. I loathe shopping for clothes, especially for social gatherings and family events. Being short and chubby makes it difficult to find clothing that fits well. I've always struggled to find clothing that flatters my figure; the dress shouldn't be too short, too long, or too tight. Or others will criticise you and make remarks behind your back. Culture has a big influence on how you dress, and certain cultural ensembles may seem different than what others generally wear, so you can attract some glances and feel self-conscious. Can't we be proud of our heritage, embrace our cultural differences, and work together to feel better about our bodies?
Why do mannequins all look the same? The fashion industry fails to recognise that we all have diverse body shapes. But no, all of the mannequins are the same size and weight. How is that meant to help us feel both comfortable in our bodies and powerful in the way we wear our bodies? Furthermore, why do the clothes on the mannequin appear so much nicer than the clothes on our bodies? Why can't we have mannequins who are curvaceous and short to make us feel more accepted in society? I'm sure it would make shopping more enjoyable.
As the day progresses, we have more time to reflect. These are some of the questions I find myself asking: Is it possible that I ate too much today? Who and why is telling me that my body isn't good enough as it is? Why do I hate my body? And why can't I appear to be the same person on Instagram/Facebook? And this continues indefinitely till another question enters my mind. Because I am an over-thinker. Why do we keep telling ourselves that tomorrow will be different, yet the cycle continues?
How to feel more positive about your body
• Daily spoken affirmations and reminders are something you should give yourself.
• If possible, surround yourself with positive people.
• Stop comparing yourself to others, you are perfect the way you are
• Concentrate on your positive traits
• Do something enjoyable for your body, such as taking a warm bath or spending time in nature.