In our society today, body image has become not only big business but a big issue as well. Clothing, beauty products, anti-aging products, fitness products and services…we like to look good! And that’s a great thing when it’s the strong confidence we want.
All too often, though, our own body image becomes skewed, and we find we’re not comfortable in our own skin. This is when unhealthy – and even harmful – habits can crop up and become a problem.
*Did you know that studies have shown that children as young as five years old have expressed unhappiness with how their bodies look? Half of all little girls and one-third of little boys, between the ages of six and eight think they are too heavy and that they should weigh less. Five-to-eight-year-olds who view their mothers as unhappy with their bodies is more likely to be unhappy with their own.
These study results prove that there is a definite issue with body image that only gets worse as children reach puberty and young adulthood where there is more pressure to look a certain way, to be “cool” and accepted.
What can we do about body image?
First, if you’re a parent, have confidence in your unique look and shape. Strive to become healthier, and let your children see and hear that – not that you’re trying to “lose weight” or “get skinnier.” Project a positive body image yourself, and support your kids in being the healthiest they can be while being confident in their skin.
If you’re not a parent but have an unhealthy body image yourself, practice looking in the mirror and saying, “I am perfect in my imperfection.” There is only one you – and that is a unique and beautiful person who is full of greatness! Positive affirmations will reach your brain on a subconscious level, and make it easier for you to take the action you need to make those positive affirmations a reality.
Learn to recognize negative thought patterns. When you do have a negative thought, stop and recognize it, then turn it around so that it has a positive spin. This one skill will translate into many different areas of your life – not just your body image! You’ll be surprised at how many negative thoughts you have every day – and this gives you plenty of chances to practice positive thinking!
Be comfortable and confident in how you look, and strive to achieve a healthy body and state of mind!