Positive Body Image

I don’t think I measure up when I compare myself to others. I feel like I don’t look good enough and that I need to change in order to be accepted.

I am always amazed at how much our body image affects us. Did you know that 80% of women aren’t happy with their bodies? It breaks my heart that so many people think they are ugly or overweight. When people think negatively about their bodies, those negative thoughts can lead to so many other problems including eating disorders, depression, self-medicating, and low self-confidence.

I believe that it is a mistake to look to our society and to the media for our examples. Magazines, TV shows, movies, and advertisements convey a message that says, “How you look is who you are.” They hold up a standard that is unattainable.

What Hollywood and advertisers don’t tell you is that most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women. They also don’t tell you that many models don’t even look like their pictures in real life. Photographers use special lighting, computer alterations, and airbrushing to make a photo look perfect. It is altered reality…a false image.

How you look is not what we should use to determine someone’s importance or worth. Every person is beautifully unique! This fact alone should be reason enough to stop judging someone by how they look on the outside and to pay attention to what is on the inside.

Don’t get me wrong; taking care of our bodies by trying to eat healthy foods and exercising is a great idea. Eating well and exercising can help us feel better and keep us healthy. Taking care of the body you have is important, but who you are on the inside is incredibly more important. True beauty radiates from the inside out and is not about how we look. When we convince ourselves that we aren’t beautiful, it can be hard to change our minds about our value. I want you to know that you are beautiful because you were created to be amazingly unique.

Society wants to create a “cookie cutter” image of what people should look and act like. I encourage you to celebrate who you are. Let’s face it; a world where everyone looks, acts, and thinks the same would be a pretty boring place!

Society’s system prides itself on externals. Its determining factors for worth include physical appearance, popularity, power, pleasure, performance, prestige, and possessions. This system reduces people to products. Let’s demolish the system that elevates external qualities and, instead, let’s develop self-worth based on internal qualities like character, compassion, commitment, consistency, creativity, and charity. Let’s create a system based on love which accepts people because of what’s on the inside, not what’s on the outside.

If you continue to struggle with body image, talk to someone about it. Share your struggles with a parent, friend, or trusted adult. You are worth it and you are not alone!