Confident people will always see a strong person staring back at them through the mirror.
Unfortunately, in the image obsessed, Hollywood-centric, and size-zero-girls-in-every-advertisement world we live in, many women and girls lose some of that confidence.
No matter the compliments people give you, if you have a negative body image you will always be unhappy looking in the mirror. You won’t like the body looking back at you.
A negative body image can lead to a physically and mentally unhealthy body.
Focusing on satisfying the media’s vision (who's the media anyways?) of tall, thin and attractive leads one to try to reach beauty and body ideals that are not realistic. Those bodies exist in photoshopped magazines, post-production TV, and on miniature Barbie dolls - not in the real world.
This negative body image doesn't just reside and mess with your mind. It can lead to many physical unhealthy issues too. Eating disorders, OCD, isolationism and depression are just some of the more common effects brought on by a low body image.
Who is most susceptible to develop a negative body image and how can we deal with this? Read part 2 to find out if you may be at risk and how to trick your mind into having a positive body image full of confidence.
The woman looking at you through the mirror is a bit too pudgy and tad too short. If that’s what you see you may suffer from having a negative body image.
This can stem from comparing yourself to others - be your friends and acquaintances or even airbrushed models in a magazine.
Of course there are other influences as well. Studies show that children of parents who diet often or have body image issues themselves are more likely to develop a lack of confidence in their body. Being criticized or ridiculed by others will also greatly contribute to this.
In rare cases, some even suffer from a mental health condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (known as BDD) where their mind is occupied with imaginary physical flaws.
So what can you do? I’m no doctor so I won’t touch serious cases like BDD, but I can suggest that so long as the issues stem from our social surroundings there are many ways to make yourself accept and be happy with your body image.
The key to self confidence is to make your opinion count more than those of others. Sounds self centered and selfish? Well it isn’t. Embrace your imperfections, love your body - curves and all. You don’t need to stop caring what others think, but you do need to begin caring what you think.