Why Body Image Has Nothing To Do With How Your Body Looks
What does body image mean?
Body image refers to the way one perceives their body and its attractiveness. Often, as a result of this perception, one can develop negative thoughts and feelings about themselves and their body. The problem is that they believe their physical self is far from the standard of beauty which is portrayed by society every single day.
That is, you wake up, you open Instagram, and you’re reminded of everything that you are not. You go outside, look at a billboard, and again, you are reminded of everything your physical self does not look like (but is told that it should). Unsurprisingly, this can cause extreme distress and it can even lead to serious mental health issues.
Society’s unrealistic standards make us forget an important fact.
The idea that one must look a specific way in order to be considered beautiful is completely false. While social media and the society we live in may be constantly setting unrealistic standards that are difficult to ignore, one must always remember the fact that beauty is subjective. This means that what one finds beautiful, another can find completely unattractive. The way we view ourselves and the body image which we have should not depend on what we see around us.
Ask yourself why you do not like certain things about your body.
TEDx speaker and body image coach Jessi Kneeland believes that when we perceive a body part as ‘ugly’, we do so because we associate it with something negative. Kneeland writes that ‘when parts of our bodies become subconsciously associated with rejection, or infused with responsibility for our shame, or become a kind of representative for our self-loathing, we don’t necessarily realize what’s going on’.
In other words, we truly believe that they are objectively ugly – forgetting that there is no such thing as objective beauty. Kneeland goes further as she says, “If you don’t think you have any negative associations, and that your thighs really are just objectively hideous, I humbly suggest that you just haven’t gone deep enough yet.”
Whenever negative thoughts begin to surface, remind yourself that there is no objective beauty. More importantly, realize that the way you see your body is completely different from how it actually looks.