Our body image (a.k.a. body esteem) is the picture we have of our physical body. It is an inner view of our outer self. It is formed by our awareness, imagination and emotions. It is ever-shifting. It changes depending upon what we’ve eaten (cookie vs. orange), seeing the scales of injustice move (up or down).
It can also shift depending on our mood, the environment, the who, what and where of the day. In other words, how we feel about ourselves and our bodies is psychological in nature.
Our body image is NOT based on fact. It is learned.
Body image primarily comes to us from the dictates of culture. Our images of beauty have been manipulated by advertisers and the media. And then, in turn, from our family and peers. (If being round and cherubic were in vogue, our mothers wouldn’t have ragged on us! Mine anyway.)
Body-esteem is linked to self-esteem. Studies show that body image makes up about 25 percent of our self-esteem. If we are happy with our bodies, we are likely to move through the day with confidence and grace. If we are unhappy, our body language reflects this state.
Studies also show that women who have a social support system in place, one that emphasizes the positive, develop healthier coping strategies and excel at problem-solving.
Now that we know that our body-esteem is totally subjective, not based on fact, and we are in this together (our own social support system), let’s create an expansive view of ourselves; one that gives us permission to feel positively about many facets of our lives, including our bodies.
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
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