Our society is overflowing with girls and women alike who are unhappy with their bodies. From a young age, girls are made to feel as though they must change themselves to be more attractive. Body image issues are caused, in part, by consumer media that make us feel bad about ourselves so we fall into buying their products. Nevertheless, the media isn’t the only problem.
While we cannot singlehandedly dismantle toxic marketing, we can address the other instigators of negative body image. Overcoming the causes we have control over will help us realize our bodies are beautiful and don’t need endless overpriced products to have value. Let’s take a look together at three things that cause a negative body image and how to overcome them.
Comparing Yourself to Others
Mark Twain says “Comparison is the death of joy.” If you have ever scrolled through endless pages of Instagram, you might just agree. When you measure your worth by what you see in others, you will live in a constant state of envy and low self-esteem. This comparison also treads the dangerous waters of devaluing others to make yourself feel better.
It’s also important to remember that what you see is not the whole story. Filters, camera angles, and closed doors hide a lot of imperfections. If everyone was 100% honest with their appearance you would see that they are just as beautifully imperfect as you are. Assessing your value by comparing yourself to others will only ensure that you will never feel sufficient.
To overcome this issue, it is crucial to stop seeing your body as something to hold to other people’s standards. Decide what your standards are. Ask yourself what kind of person you want to be and what is most important to you. Let other people worry about themselves and start focusing on yourself instead.
Very few women were blessed to be raised by mothers with positive body image. Many of us can remember our moms going through various diets and exercises — always striving for an unrealistic body standard. If your mother was never taught that her body does not dictate her worth, chances are, she never taught you that either.
Our early childhood strongly influences our perceptions later in life. If we aren’t focussing on our thought patterns and why we think that way, it can be hard to recognize that we are following in the footsteps of those who raised us.
Addressing our thought patterns takes time and work, especially if they have been ingrained in us from early on. Focussing on stopping and deconstructing negative thoughts every time we have them is time-consuming and uncomfortable, but worth the work in the end. Ask yourself “Is this feeling based on truth or just how I have been taught to feel?”
Value Attached to Image
The media would have you believe that your value is based on how your body looks. If you aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, sexy enough, etc. then you are not enough; as though a woman is defined by her looks. We allow ourselves to be devalued by arbitrary standards that change at the drop of a hat.
Consider this: Marilyn Monroe used to be hailed as the sexiest woman alive, but by today's standards she would be criticized for being fat. You will never measure up to the standards set by the media, and that is the point. If you are not happy with who you are, they will continue to benefit.
We combat this issue by separating our worth from our bodies. Who you are is not what you look like. You have a rich internal world, a personality, a moral code, dreams, and aspirations — that is who you are and that is your value. Your body is merely your transportation through life. The more you love it, the better you will take care of it. So tune out those negative thoughts and tune in a little self-love.
At Liam & Co, we understand the importance of having clothes that fit properly and make you feel amazing. We provide quality clothing for women of all shapes and sizes, without breaking the bank. Visit our website to view our gorgeous curvy collection today.