When I first joined LSRG, I wrote a blog about Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign, “Are you too critical of your body image?” Basically this campaign showed how harshly we criticize ourselves and our looks. In my blog I spoke about how we often describe ourselves in a more negative way than those around us, even strangers. Our self-perceptions are what make up and influence our body image and self-esteem. With the trend of needing to fit society’s view of beautiful, many individuals are developing disordered eating habits. The personal care brand Dove found that only 4% of women worldwide believe that they are beautiful. While not all women suffer from body dysmorphia or an eating disorder, many may not realize how skewed their body image truly is.
If you haven’t already seen Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign, you should definitely check it out!
‘Appreciate all that your body can do. Everyday your body is carrying you closer to your dreams.’
So considering that we are our biggest critics, how can we begin to boost our body image and self-esteem? If your initial thought is going on a diet and that is the only way, know that going on a diet is not the way to make you feel better about yourself. Changing the way you look does not change the way you feel. Instead, you need to start incorporating some lifestyle changes. This can included changing your thoughts and words about yourself and even your activities throughout the week. I found Paige Singer’s article “5 Ways to Boost Your Body Image (Without Going on a Diet)” and I have included her 5 ways below. Try each of them out and see what changes come your way!
- Wear clothes that you like and feel comfortable in.
Whether you’re having a good body image day or a bad body image day, it’s important to wear something that makes you feel good about yourself. Forget the trends and be your own style guru. Whether you want to dress up in jeans and a nice top (ready to go out), or you prefer your most comfortable pair of sweatpants and graphic tee, wear what feels good to you in the moment.
- Make positive affirmations your best friend.
When you want to love your body but can’t figure out how, you sometimes have to fake it at first. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful. Put sticky notes up on your walls and around your mirrors with sayings like, “You’re beaming today!” Try to tell yourself at least one nice thing about yourself a day.
- Focus on your hobbies.
Doing what you love and getting better at something you enjoy gives you confidence. It gives you the ability to base your self-esteem on something other than your appearance. Exploring different activities can be really fun, and you never know what new interests you may discover.
- Resist the urge to compare yourself to others!
It can be a struggle to get past comparing yourself to celebrities and even good friends. But, no body is the same. We all are different shapes and sizes, and it’s time to embrace the beauty in that. Instead, find what looks good and feels good on you. It’s a lot more productive to focus on the positives of your body type rather than wishing for a different one.
- Move your body doing something enjoyable.
As Elle Woods said inLegally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” She’s right. Get yourself moving at least once a day. You may not be a fan of going to the gym, so you have to find what works for you. It’s all about what makes your body feel good.
If you want to read my original blog post, “Are You Too Critical of Your Body Image?” follow the link http://www.lifeskillsresourcegroup.com/are-you-too-critical-of-your-body-image/.
If you’re having trouble with body image issues or even self esteem, it might help to talk it over with someone. Give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our Orlando counselors! Kelli Skorman, would be happy to work with you for Orlando Eating Disorder Counseling, and our Orlando Individual Counselors would be happy to start targeting your negative self-image. If you have a child who is suffering from low-self esteem, Amy Smith and Jessica Carmean would be happy to work with them for Orlando Children Counseling and Orlando Teen Counseling!