Body Image is everywhere we look - on the high street, in the supermarkets, on billboards, Instagram, newspapers, magazines. We are shamed into not being perfect which is an infectious disease that continues into adulthood. You turn on the TV to listen to music and celebrities are flaunting themselves all over with women in next to nothing and men built like Hercules. These are unrealistic goals for any person.
A good, stable diet, regular exercise, and a healthy outlook on self-image are what is important. We are all built differently, therefore, we cannot all attain the same “ideal”.
There are women with large hips, and those with narrow, men with broad chests and others who don’t. It is our natural build destined for us from the day of conception. Of course, we weren’t created to become couch-potatoes but the stresses of the modern world restrict motivation.
If you do feel uncomfortable about your body try some of these:
Concentrate on factors of yourself that make you feel positive. Your infectious laugh, artistry skills, ability to bargain or your score sheet on the golf course. Once you begin to concentrate on your positive traits you will naturally begin to feel less awkward about yourself.
Don’t Judge Others
If you are quick to judge others for their size, or funny feature, or lessened hair or for any factor deemed not ‘normal’ by the media today then, of course, you will not be satisfied with yourself. If you remove yourself from that mind frame then you will realize that most people who don’t know you don’t care what you look like and you will see that you are just being mean. I highly doubt being mean is your intention, mostly judging others is a kneejerk reaction to our disappointment with ourselves. Give it a go and if there are others around you who judge people discourage them by simply saying “so what.”
Change Your Style
Wardrobe malfunctions are hidden in every closet. The clothes you see on models are for tall, flat chested, narrow-waisted women, not the average US woman anyhow. And for men, the same - tight jeans really aren’t for everyone, no matter what the latest ‘manwalk’ suggests. Sometimes we lack the knowledge of knowing what actually suits us. We may have people around us who say “Oh that’s lovely on you!” when in fact they are only trying to tell you what you want to hear. Go shopping with that critical friend, hold back the tears and buy them lunch, it will be worth it. Or in your local department store, they might offer a free stylist service (of course they expect you to buy the clothes after). Once you have a wardrobe that suits your body shape you will feel so much more confident.
Exercise is known generally to lose weight or gain muscle but it's not all about that. There are certain exercises to tackle certain parts of your body. If you are uncomfortable with your arms, or your tummy, or your thighs, you don’t have to do a full body workout. This is make working out less daunting. Also exercising gives you a great boost of energy. The air you take into your lungs and the blood pumping through your veins are great factors to encourage that smile and positive self-body image.
Fast food is too easy to get, and too delicious to resist. Remember that there are additives in fast food to make it addictive. And did you ever notice how you feel angry or depressed afterward? Choosing a healthy option has proven to keep people fuller for longer without the unwanted fat gain. And it's not all about salad, just avoid fried food. Make your own tacos at home with your own sauce, oven roast or grill your chicken with marinated veggies, make your own oven fries. What I’m trying to say here is that you can still eat your hamburgers and tacos, just make them at home, or find a restaurant where they create it healthily. Eating better will not only boost your mood but will have positive effects on your skin, hair, nails, and you may even lose some extra pounds along the way!
Educate Young People
It’s in our teens when it hits home hard that we may not be perfect according to the media. And for a lot of us, it continues into adulthood. What can we do as adults to help these hormonal, puberty-stricken teenagers? Education. Speak to them, tell them how unrealistic it is to look like a celebrity who spends thousands of dollars every year on plastic surgery. Ask them do they think it is a positive message being sent to young people when the singers appear on the video scantily clad. Help them overcome there own misgivings by sharing some of the advice here. Encourage them to get involved in an extra-curricular activity so they spend more time with like-minded people rather than mean school kids.
I hope these tips will you or a loved one get through a body-shaming struggle.
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