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Transcript of Body Image
What is Body Image?
How you picture yourself in your mind.
What you believe about your own appearance.
How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
How you feel in your body, not just about your body.
How does Body Image relate to one's self-esteem?
Negative Body Image:
A distorted perception of your shape, or feelings of discomfort, shame, or anxiety about your body.
Positive Body Image:
A true perception of your appearance: You see yourself as you really are and you like yourself
In American culture there is a lot of emphasis placed on body weight, size and appearance. We are conditioned at a very young age to believe that self-worth is derived from these external characteristics.
Body Image and Stereotypes
What are some stereotypes associated with being thin or muscular?
These stereotypes are prevalent in our society and they are reinforced by the media, our family, friends and even well-respected health professionals. As a result, we often unfairly judge others and label them based on their weight and size alone.
We feel great anxiety and pressure to achieve and or maintain a very lean physique. We believe that if we can just be thinner or more muscular, we can be happier, more successful and more accepted by society.
When you look in a mirror, what do you see?
What is Body Image? (Definition)
Your perception of how your body looks forms your body image.
Your body image can affect your self esteem, your eating and exercise behaviors, and your relationship with others.
Eye Opening Statistics About Body Image
Your Body Image is:
On the other hand, being “fat” is associated with being lazy, ignorant, hated, ugly, weak, and lacking will power.
Research tells us that media imagery can affect the way we feel about ourselves. What is the media’s portrayal of women? Of men?
Research tells us that media imagery can affect the way we feel about ourselves.
What is the media’s portrayal of women? Of men?
The media sets unrealistic standards for what body weight and appearance is considered “normal”.
Examine the degree to which your self-esteem depends upon your appearance. Although it may seem natural to wish you looked like a fashion model or a body builder, basing your happiness on this desire may lead to failure. Unrealistic goals can prevent you from exploring ways to enhance your life.
Reclaim your own inner strength. Focus on the unique qualities and personality traits that make you a special and successful person.
Stop weighing yourself. Focus on how your clothes fit and how you feel. If you keep trying to achieve an unrealistically low body weight for you, you’re setting yourself up for failure, depression, disordered eating, and decreased quality of life.
Recognize that “fat-ism” is a form of discrimination similar to sexism, racism, and classism. Assumptions that body shape determines attractiveness, personality, and success are incorrect and unjust. Combat discrimination when possible.
Broaden your perspective. Talk to people you trust, read books about body image, or write in a journal. These activities may help you to recognize emotionally destructive thoughts and put body image into perspective.
Nurture your inner self. Enjoy things you find relaxing (e.g. music, bubble baths, fragrances, candles, massages, reading, writing, napping), enjoy nature (ex: gardens, sunsets, beach, stars), and/or seek spiritual connection (e.g. prayer, meditation, inspirational reading, reflection). Feeling good on the inside is key to feeling good on the outside.
Stop your negative thoughts and statements about yourself. Focus on what you love about yourself. Compliment yourself. Tell yourself the same things you would tell a good friend.
Surround yourself with people who have a healthy relationship with food, weight, and their bodies. It will make a difference in how you feel about yourself. Also, remember to set a good example for others by refraining from “fat talk” when you’re with friends and family.
Move and enjoy your body. Go walking, swimming, biking, and dancing. Do yoga, aerobics, and weight training…. not because you have to, but because it makes you feel strong and energized.
Celebrate your body and the marvelous things it can do when you are fit and well-nourished. So often, we take these things for granted.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Invest time and money in yourself, rather than the diet and supplement industry. Spend your extra money on flattering clothes, fitness equipment, haircuts, and other personal indulgences--not on diets.
Realize that you cannot change your body type. Learn to love and respect your body and to work with what you have.
What can you do to improve your body image?
De-emphasize weight. Don’t get hung up on numbers. Weight doesn’t tell you much.
There is no such thing as one “ideal body weight” based on your height. Each one of us has a healthy weight based on our body type, bone structure, muscle mass, genetics, what weight we feel our best at, and what weight our body tends to want to maintain at.
Ways To Improve Your Body Image
Many of the supermuscular male bodies you see in the media are just the products of drugs. It is not possible to be that muscular and that lean without chemical assistance.
Instead of thinking of it as a limit, think of it as your personal best.
There is a physiological limit to how muscular you can get naturally.
Reality Check (Distorted Body Image in the Media):
Body features in the media are enhanced with props, lighting angles, and computer techniques.
Shapes and sizes are altered.
•Blemishes, freckles, lines, wrinkles, skin folds, and any other unwanted feature are edited out.
Body features from photos of different people are combined to create the “perfect” image.
“Body doubles” are common in films when body parts of lead actors don’t measure up to the “perfect” image.
•Photo images can be completely computer generated to fit the look of the day.
Today’s health professionals go to huge lengths to sell products and to convince women that their bodies are never good enough. Female models are typically tall, thin, young, and appear “perfect”. More and more, male models are lean, very muscular and equally “perfect” in their appearance.
The physical images presented by the media are flawless in every way. Nobody looks that “perfect” naturally, not even the models themselves.
The media message is that if you try hard enough, spend enough, suffer enough, you can have the look you want…that shaping your body will somehow bring you success and happiness.