We often misconceive body shaming and negative body image as something teenagers engage in or experience. I’m here to tell you that it exists with all ages, genders, body sizes, and ethnicities.
The National Institute of Health performed a study showing that 25% of males and 9-% of females engage in negative body talk. Negative body talk is voicing concerns or talking negatively about your appearance. Whether it’s directed toward your weight, body parts, or comparing your body to someone else’s. Something to consider is we unconsciously engage in negative body talk and body shaming regularly.
What Is Body Image?
In an ideal and non-judgemental world, we would all be happy or content with our bodies. We might not need to compare or criticize ourselves or anyone else based on physical appearance.
Keeping up with the Joneses is a huge issue. We are born as we are, and our looks shouldn’t be based on the latest and greatest model or actor. Commercials, advertisements, and public opinion weigh too much into some people’s lives.
We all know we don’t live in such a world. That being said, body image is a complex phenomenon involving how a person perceives, feels, and thinks about their physical self. Keeping a negative body image will affect our sense of well-being. It can create a domino effect with mental health issues like anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and body dysmorrphic disorder.
How To Overcome Negative Body Talk
Catch Your Inner Critic
Be open and aware, so you can acknowledge when you are engaging in negative boy talk. Try and turn down the volume on the body-shaming nonsense, and counter them with words about your strengths and successes. They don’t have to be related to your body, rather things that make you feel positive about yourself.
Don’t Engage In Body Chat
It’s ok to choose not to engage in the conversations that cause you to feel the need to body shame yourself or others. You can disengage altogether or change the subject after all; we lead by example, right?
Change The Language
Remove the negative words you use against yourself or others from your vocabulary. Some other ways to change your language include:
- Minimize your exposure to idealized images presented by mainstream media. This can be difficult for those of you on social media, magazines, blogs, etc., who emphasize unrealistic body image or engage in damaging body shaming and negative talk. Seek, and you shall find what you’re looking for.
- Drop comparisons; they’re dumb. Stop comparing yourself to others and others to yourself. Instead, focus on your strengths and try to find them in others. Be the change!
- Adopt healthier habits, period. Whether it’s exercise, healthier eating, or something that benefits and strengthens your lifestyle. If you are unhappy with your weight, do the things to change whatever it is so you can feel better about what bothers you.
We should all love and be happy with ourselves. It shouldn’t concern us what others’ opinions are. After all, that’s their business. Worry about yourself and do the things that make you feel good to the core; as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, go on with your bad self. You’re beautiful. Believe that!