Sounds easier than what it actually is.
The truth is that accepting how we are and loving our body is not an easy task.
I do believe that more has to be done. It is a skill that can be learned.
Articles that talk about body dissatisfaction
2007 – Sydney Morning Herald
HYSTERIA about obesity and dieting has been blamed for escalating eating disorder problems. Numbers have more than doubled in the past decade, a survey of 3000 people has found.
2006 – ABC News – Helen Carter
People who are unhappy with their own body are likely to think celebrities are thinner then they really are, new Australian research shows.
The Age – 2003 – Australia – Rosemary Bolger
The fashion industry is a competitive business and most designers prefer thin models to wear their clothes. Diet pills and other drugs, as well as strict dieting, are reportedly common among models.
The Age – 2013 – Peter Martin, Rachel Wells
GOOD looks matter for men – far more than previously believed.
The first Australian study of the financial return to physical attractiveness finds its worth an astounding $32,150 in annual salary, with men of above-average looks typically commanding $81,750 compared to $49,600 for men with below-average looks.
Melinda Tankard-Reist – The Australian – 2007
THE girl stood at the edge of the pool, hesitating. Her family encouraged her to join them. What was wrong? She usually loved the water. But this time it was different. She was wearing a dressing-gown over her bathers. She didn’t want to take it off.
Peter Munro – The Age – 2007
OLIVER is still in primary school but already he knows a deep sink of shame when he looks in the bathroom mirror. He slaps his stomach beneath an oversized sweatshirt and says he is worried he “might be single for the rest of my life”. He is 12 years old and plays tag with his friends during lunch, but “every time I take my shirt off to get in the shower that makes me feel sad”. “I am overweight,” he says. “That’s the way I am.”
Resources to learn how to improve your body image
Valuable information on how the media affects our perceptions in body image.
Film and media advertisements are designed to make money by selling products. Advertisements are designed to make us want something we don’t have, like a supermodel body, cars, clothes, cosmetics, holidays, a muscular body, a fantasy life etc. Advertisers believe that thin bodies (messages they tell girls/women) and bulked up bodies (messages they tell guys/men) sell products. Advertisements, TV shows, movies, magazines and music videos all try to make you believe that being thin, beautiful, popular and happy is important and can only be achieved if you look a certain way, buy certain products—like clothes, jewellery, CDs and other stuff—and behave in a certain way.
Child and Youth Health provides advice on how to develop a healthy body image
You would think that how you see yourself would be totally up to you. Wrong!
- Many people are really influenced by the media, fashion, peer groups, their family, advertising and teen magazines for both boys and girls.
- So they compare themselves with all their idols, heroes, glossy air brushed pictures, films and video clips using special photo techniques and make up, etc. – and who can compare favourably with that?
- Not even the heroes, idols and film stars can! They certainly don’t look that good in ‘real life’, as we can all tell when we see the sort of pictures taken when the ‘stars’ don’t know about it!
Sydney Morning Herald – by Cosima Marriner – 2007
Noses, breasts and tummies. It’s now the norm to want – and get – the best on offer. Cosima Marriner reports.
A young woman recently showed up at Dr Howard Webster’s plastic surgery practice seeking breast implants. In the surgeon’s opinion, the woman’s natural breasts were perfect. But to the woman’s eyes, accustomed to the sight of surgically enhanced chests, they weren’t.
The Age – by Sushi Das – 2007
IT’S the start of the university year and an increasing number of teenage girls are starting the new term with bigger breasts, smaller bottoms and straighter noses.
Doctors say Australian adolescents, especially girls, are demanding cosmetic surgery to boost self-esteem, a phenomenon health professionals say is driven by the pressure to look perfect in a celebrity-obsessed culture.
Body Image Fact Sheet
by National Eating Disorders Collaboration
Body image is the perception that a person has of their
physical self, but more importantly the thoughts and feelings
the person experiences as a result of that perception.
It is important to understand that these feelings can be positive,
negative or a combination of both and are influenced by
individual and environmental factors.
Your body image plays a role in theirs
“On a diet, you can’t eat.” That is what one 5- year-old girl had to say in a study on girls’ ideas about dieting. This and other research has shown that daughters are more likely to have ideas about dieting when their mothers diet. Children pick up on comments about dieting concepts that may seem harmless, such as limiting high-fat foods or eating less. Yet, as girls enter their teen years, having ideas about dieting can lead to problems.”
Growing and developing healthy relationships – Western Australia – Department of Health – Department of Education
looking at fashion magazines for just three minutes lowers the self-esteem of over 80% of women
Building Healthy Self-esteem
Queensland University of Technology – Counselling Services
Self-esteem describes the values, beliefs and attitudes we have towards ourselves. It reflects the overall opinion we have about ourselves. Our opinion may be positive, (eg “I am a worthwhile person”) or it may be negative, (eg “I am a bad person”). Healthy self-esteem is about accepting ourselves for who we are, warts and all.
Part of being human means that we are not perfect and that at times we will all make mistakes, or do things of which we are not proud. Building healthy self-esteem means letting go to your mistakes and accepting your bad points or weaknesses as part of being human. It is about being comfortable in accepting yourself just as you are.
However, for some people their self-esteem is often fragile and easily affected by day-to-day events such as a poor mark on an assignment or a poor performance on the sports field. These people fall into the trap of mixing up who they are with what they do, instead of valuing themselves for their own unique contribution to the world. Would you agree that a person who is a bad driver is a bad person? Or that a person who is a great cook is a great person? Most of us would disagree with such extreme generalizations.
Better Health Channel
Women with a poor body image have a distorted perception of what they look like. This can lead to destructive behaviours, such as strict dieting or eating disorders.
Better Health Channel
Body image involves your perceptions and feelings about your own body. Poor body image is often linked to dieting or eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating. You should aim for long-term moderate healthy eating and exercise, not drastic weight change.
by Melissa Abramovitz – nvcc.edu
Although body image is defined as an individual’s mental picture of him- or herself, many factors beyond personal opinion
determine how this mental image is formed and how it changes
over time. Experts say one of the primary reasons for the
modern obsession with body image is that the media bombard
us with the idea that thin (for females) and lean and muscular
(for males) is essential for happiness and success.
Body image is how I look–right? No! Body image is a mental idea about your physical body and how you look. Body image is something that constantly changes as it is based more on feeling than fact. Dr. Debby Burgard, founder of the Body Positive website encourages a “Health at Every Size” approach. Burgard says that your body image is not a picture you are supposed to improve if you want to feel better; it is a relationship with your home, your sanctuary, yourself. This definition is different from what our culture and the media tells us, which tells us the external–how we look–can control the internal–how we feel.
Centrecare – check more tips for other related issues
Your self-esteem can affect how you feel, how you relate to other people, how you deal with challenges and how relaxed and safe you feel in your daily life:
In order to be happy you need to like yourself. If you believe that you are not OK, or if you are constantly putting yourself down, you are more likely to feel depressed, anxious or miserable than someone who has a positive view of themselves.
Confidence is a really personal thing that isn’t the same for everyone. Different people have different levels of confidence, but there are some signs of a confident person which can give insight into where confidence comes from. Even if you’re not naturally confident, there are a number of ways you can build on your confidence over time.
Things that you can do to improve your self-confidence are:
- Work on developing positive self talk
- Learn about strengths and how they can boost your confidence
- Find out good ways to make new friends