Causes of negative body-image
I speak out of personal experience when I say that it’s hard being a girl in 2017. And I know people will tell me to just ignore the expectations being placed on women because of social media. To you, I say, “You are kidding yourself.” How can I ignore something that’s in my face all the time? If I want to stop myself from being exposed to these things, I’d have to move to some desert island. There’s no way to escape it all. Do you watch movies? Well, I bet there’s some unrealistic thing happening in there that makes little girls wonder why they are not like that.
That’s my main problem with this. I’m used to it by now. I know I will never reach their level of ‘beauty’, but for a little kid, it can be devastating to think that they are ugly because of some stereotype in a movie.
I know it’s not just women affected by it. I know many guys who wish they looked like the Baywatch lifeguards. This causes them to look at their own bodies with disgust.
We start comparing ourselves to actors and models and develop a negative body-image.
I’m not saying that all actors are fake or trying to make the rest of us feel bad, I’m talking about the way the media portrays it as a necessity to be accepted into society.
I hate those movies where the girl wears glasses and has braces and she’s bullied because she’s ‘ugly’. Then comes the part that really grinds my gears: the makeover. Suddenly she wears her hair down, gets contacts and they remove her braces. Then she gets the guy of her dreams (usually the main jock) to fall for her. All because she changed the way she dressed. If that’s not the most shallow thing you’ve ever seen, then I would love to hear about it.
Some personal experiences
If this is going to be a journey, I need to set some goals and later reflect on them. You can do this with me if you want to. I’ll probably give some feedback in a few months and let you know how it’s going.
I’ve always struggled to accept the way I look. I’m quite short and it’s usually the first thing pointed out by anyone I meet for the first time. It would have been fine if it was just strangers pointing it out because they should not affect the way I feel about myself. But having my friends and family constantly reminding me of this one thing that I could never hope to change about my body, created a block. It stops me from accepting myself. Even on the days when I feel most beautiful and I look at photos and all I can see is how short I am compared to my friends.
My younger brother got the good genes. He’s tall and lanky and can play sports. It’s something that has also played a part in my negative self-image.
I have to accept that I will never be taller. There is nothing I can do about it. I have to accept that I will never find jeans that fit me perfectly because either the legs are too long or the waist is too small.
I want to be able to look past the negative aspects of my height and embrace it. I am cute and cuddly after all.
I want to accept the fact that I have cellulite and that I will never be super thin. And that’s okay. Your body shape is very dependant on your genes, so even if you work out like crazy, you will never be able to drastically change your body (in a way that is healthy).
I’m going to take care of my body by eating enough and eating healthy foods. I’m a big chocolate-lover, so I seriously need to cut back on my sugar intake.
I will also start working out to sleep better and prevent issues later in my life. I am a lazy bean, so I won’t be lifting any weights, but I will probably be spending some time swimming. Click here to read more about why swimming is the best exercise.
Overall, I want to be more content with who I am. This will also be dependant on the people I surround myself with. I will be following my own advice of getting rid of toxic people in your life.
Give it time
Obviously, it’s not going to change once I publish this. It will take time and endurance. But I will get there. You will get there. It is possible to love yourself and not be vain.
I’m glad that I’m able to share this. It will serve as a reminder to me that I am beautiful and unique and how I feel about myself should not depend on other people, but only what I choose to believe.
We are all made beautiful by God and He would not want us to feel bad about His handiwork. I hope that we can grow together and support one another.