I hate to admit it, but as much as we strive for a better body image, we still exist in a space where worth is measured by the size of our waist-lines and how bright our highlight is. Whilst some have opened up discussions about their own body image and seek self-acceptance, there are others who have fallen victim to the negative self-image that society foists upon us. But all is not lost! If you’re looking to rid yourself from the constraints of toxic diet culture and appearance-based expectations, then a better body image awaits – here are 5 things that you can do every day to improve your body image.
Engage in positive self-talk
We have all become so used to talking about ourselves with a razor-sharp tongue that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to spare ourselves a positive thought. Positive self-talk is something that many of us find difficult, we’ve belittled our bodies, looks and minds so much that we’ve cheated ourselves into thinking that we’re not good enough. But guess what? You ARE. Make a conscious effort to stop yourself from entertaining negative self-talk, it’s a vicious circle to become involved in and the more you put yourself down, the harder it is to realise that you ARE enough, you ARE worthy and you CAN love yourself.
Embrace your body’s abilities
In this society, we are used to attractiveness, thinness and whiteness being hailed as all that is good in this world. We’ve seen jobs go to those ‘prettier’ than us, we’ve seen popularity be cultivated from thinness, we’ve witnessed relationships being broken because a body is ‘too fat’ and we’ve all questioned our own abilities because our bodies just aren’t right. The time to acknowledge your achievements and the things your body can do is NOW. It’s high time that we recognised when our bodies were doing something miraculous – motherhood, the scars that we wear and the stories behind them, the things we can accomplish and how far our bodies have travelled are all things to be PROUD of.
Change your focus: moments, not perfection
Long before iPhone’s took over the world, we used to snap photos on disposable cameras. We wouldn’t be able to see the picture until the film was developed and we certainly wouldn’t have had the chance to retake it – and they were perfect. Eyes half-closed, mouths open mid-sentence, awkward poses, hair in your face and smudged make-up but who cares? I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that every selfie, every picture of you doesn’t need to be retaken or edited to be ‘perfect’ for society’s eyes. We need to try harder to live in the moment, instead of being so concerned about how we’ll appear once the moment’s gone.
Put value in your other talents
Such is the demand on our bodies to look a certain way, we often forget to put value in our talents and achievements outside of the realms of body image. We all have so much value based on our talents, but these are often overlooked – mostly by ourselves. Well, here’s the permission (that you shouldn’t need) to show off, take not of the things you can do – whether that’s writing, photography, work-life achievements, your qualities as a friend, yoga, cooking. Whatever your proud of in your life, make it known!
Learn to look in the mirror & focus on the positives
What’s your first thought when you stand in front of a mirror? I’d put money on it being something negative – whether your hair isn’t right, your clothes aren’t sitting right or you’ve got a spot, you’re bound to notice it when you see your reflection. It’s a sad fact that we don’t look in the mirror and thing YASSSSSSSSS, I’m A QUEEN, I’m GLORIOUS; but it’s the truth. The next time you go to a mirror, focus on the things that you like about yourself, pay yourself a compliment, smile – the rest will come.