What is your inner conversation when you see yourself in the mirror?
This past year and a half, among many other challenges, has created a rather inescapable one-on-one rapport with our minds and bodies that we may very well never have experienced before. The ongoing changes are happening in so many levels that we, as a society cannot yet begin to understand the long-term results, yet there are visible things that range from a year-long break from the hair salon, our new choice of work clothes (can someone say sweatpants?) to how we see ourselves when we take them off.
As we look at others from our screens, scroll through work goals, picture-perfect figures, unbreakable habits, dream homes, magic products, and mood settings, this year like no other, has presented the opportunity for millions of people to learn new skills, acquire better habits, virtually participate and completely change our perspective on many important collective issues and embark on an array of personal journeys.
This is the optimistic side of it, but there are what we consider the not-so-positive results of spending so much time in our own company. Looking at that very well-groomed ”reality” in other people’s lives has mostly created comparison while experiencing uncertainty, boredom, missing physical contact with loved ones, and among other things facing how we really feel about who we are. All of these are connected to how we think the world sees us.
Don’t get me wrong, all the above situations can actually be very positive and inspiring, what seems to be inescapable is there is absolutely no place to hide, for better or for worse it is all about the most important relationship you will ever have: the one with yourself.
What is the difference between self image and body image?
According to the American Psychology Association this is the definition of self image:
n. one’s view or concept of oneself. Self-image is a crucial aspect of an individual’s personality that can determine the success of relationships and a sense of general well-being. A negative self-image is often a cause of dysfunctions and of self-abusive, self-defeating, or self-destructive behavior.
Body image: is how you view your physical self — including whether you feel you are attractive and whether others like your looks. For many people, no matter the gender, body image can be closely linked to self-esteem
Many people have concerns about their body image. These concerns often focus on height, weight, skin, any obvious condition, hair, or the shape or size of any given body part.
However, body image does not only stem from what we see in the mirror. According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), a range of beliefs, experiences, and generalizations also contribute to the emotional attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of our own body, so it turns out that we may radically differ from how attractive others think we are, usually, it being a surprise how many people think we are hot while we believe we are not!
The body-positive movement aims to help people manage the pressure that media messages impose on their body image. According to The Body Positive organization, “Beauty is not a single image, but the active embodiment and celebration of the self.”
There is an open argument on whether accepting a larger body may deter people from taking action to be healthier and more conscious of their habits. However, body positivity is not just about the size or appearance of the body, confidence and control are also key factors and it is a well-known fact, that the way we perceive our figures or attractiveness has a direct impact on our worth and attitude with which we navigate life.
Where does a negative body image come from?
Intellect has nothing to do with this. A body image, negative or positive does not develop in isolation with a self-generated mental conversation. Culture, family, social and general media, comparison, expectations, and friends’ pressure all convey positive and negative messages about our body.
The general idea of beauty -for men and women, peers, and family members can all influence a person’s body image. They can encourage us, from a young age, to believe that there is an ideal body and that the goal is to achieve it in order to be attractive to others and more successful.
This proposed image is often an unnatural one, far from healthy and totally focused on the comparison, a false sense of achievement, and a dangerous strive for ”perfection” instead of being grateful, real, and in fact learning to be the best versions of ourselves, not someone else.
Building a positive bond with self and body
As adults we have learned to develop concepts for almost everything and the physique does not escape our habit of defining what everything ”should” look and be like, our image and body being the ones with the hardest criticism on our behalf.
Our goal is for you to embrace all that you have, be realistic about yourself, sensibly change what you want, and live with the infinite gratitude of having a home for your soul, a physical temple that sustains your life, and a presence that allows you to walk this earth as the unique being that you are!
People with high self-esteem know themselves well. They’re realistic, find friends that like and appreciate them for who they are and have tools to build meaningful relationships based on human connection.
When our self-esteem is strong, we usually feel more in control of our lives and know our own strengths and weaknesses. This reality allows that we do things to look better, enhance or improve our appearance without conditioning our happiness when we reach a certain weight or drive a new car that for all to see.
Focusing on building self-confidence and a positive body image may help reduce obesity and achieve wider health goals.
Not motivated yet? How about if we tell you that you are more likely to attract a truly compatible partner with solid chances of developing a happy long-lasting relationship?
See you in love soon lioness, lion or any other cat you may want to be!