Advice for Better Body Image

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Gabriela McGrath Moreira

As body insecurities seep into daily life and society enforces unrealistic body standards it can become difficult to feel confident. Here’s some advice to hopefully help in starting a journey towards self-love.

It’s hard to love yourself and appreciate your body when there is constant pressure from society to conform to one generic body type when, in reality, we all have different bodies. Instead of accepting physical differences, our culture degrades those that subvert certain standards; instead of encouraging people to see the beauty in all bodies, society enforces comparison and restriction. These bodily ideals can be suffocating and cause anxiety on a daily basis. 

The truth is these restrictions and rules, such as ‘wear that and not this,’ are pointless. There is no certain body type for certain clothes, and no certain look someone needs to have to be beautiful. While all of this is true it can be hard for people to believe it themselves. Because of this here’s some advice to lead people towards a better place with body image.

1.Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel insecure. 

Social Media is a place where everyone compares everything and one of the major topics to compare is bodies. The people that  some people tend to look up to can be the worst culprit in making people feel like their body has no worth or they need to look like them.  A lot of times it is not the influencer’s fault but it is natural to compare and in order to get out of that mindset it is important to unfollow anyone who makes you feel less worthy and follow new ones that uplift you and bring confidence to the table.

Quote: “I feel like within today’s society nobody is truly happy with the way they look because of the “beauty standard”.. it’s especially hard to see so many pretty girls on tik tok or social media in general because I’m constantly finding new things to be insecure about or compare myself to,” freshman Sienna Fakiri said.

2. Find an activity that is empowering

Feeling empowered can help build confidence. A fun and effective way to build body image is finding something that makes you feel good and is enjoyable. For example,  someone loves to run and it makes them feel like anything is possible. However in daily life, they feel self-conscious wearing crop tops because of bodily insecurities, but running makes them feel empowered so they can use this activity to help build their confidence by going out of their usual comfort zone and wearing a crop top to run. Eventually,  this confidence and self-love will start seeping into daily life. Even if it’s something like art that is empowering, use it to paint diverse body types and express their beauty through art. No matter what activity it is use it to build your confidence and body image.

3. Create a Healthy Relationship with Food 

The diet industry is our worst enemy when it comes to building a healthy relationship with food and exercise. They are constantly trying to force people into following ridiculous diets just to fuel money into their industry. Popular diets such as the Keto diet were actually made for people with Celiac disease. And, contrary to what the diet industry says, carbs are one of the most essential food sources that people should include into their diet. The best way to develop a healthy relationship with food is to simply learn about it and discover what your body feels best eating. This is called Intuitive Eating, which is honoring your internal signals such as hunger and satisfaction instead of listening to irrational diet rules or restrictions. It’s also giving yourself food freedom without any guilt. This drives the attention away from how your body looks and focuses on how it feels. It can be hard to actually listen to your body and just eat since society has constantly thrown diet culture in people’s faces, however, once the journey starts it can be well worth it. 

“As a teen, I have definitely felt the pressures of beauty standards. A lot of it derives from social media, but also in my everyday life as well. It’s small things, like questioning meal choices and passing judgment on weight/image that tends to feed into these insecurities and enhances the negativity these standards bring on to people.The more dishonesty and false standards of beauty spread, the wider demographic they’ll affect. Instead of promoting body types and features, platforms and standards should just advocate for a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically,” sophomore Zarah Correa said.

3. Create a healthy relationship with Exercise

Exercise is a word that is thrown around a lot and can often be associated with negative feelings and poor self-image. In reality, moving your body can be a positive and beneficial feeling. It’s essential that the mindset be changed around exercise. Instead of how many calories does this burn, try to focus on ‘how does this make me feel?’ Movement does not have to be a task, it can be a lovable hobby. To not make it a burden, it’s important to find out what kind of movement you personally like. Whether it’s running, swimming, kayaking or going for a walk, it should feel enjoyable and something to look forward to.

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