The way we view our bodies impacts the way we participate in the world. The way we see and value ourselves has a huge impact on our actions, our quality of life, our happiness, and even our intimate relationships with others.
Body image is a simple term that describes how an individual views their body and appearance—whether that is “average,” “attractive,” or “bad.”
Negative body image plagues many Americans, both male and female.
Globally, the statistic of women that would call themselves beautiful is 4 percent.
But wait. There’s more!
Today’s society has a very strict image of beauty that is displayed in magazines, television and film. It is extremely easy for women to feel inadequate in comparison to the super-toned bodies that we see displayed in every advertisement. To give you an idea how bad it truly is, here’s the state of body image issues in four points:
91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting.
5 percent of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.
81 percent of ten-year-olds are afraid of being fat. These ten-year-olds are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of cancer, war, or losing both of their parents.
In a survey of girls aged nine and ten years old, 40 percent have tried to lose weight. Essentially, we have the majority of our fourth and fifth graders terrified of a body type that we’ve told them is wrong, and they’re more afraid of becoming heavy than of most anything else.
We are teaching young girls they aren’t worthy of intimacy and love all because their body type isn’t perfect or worthy of love. This mindset will follow them into adulthood.
Often, we as women sabotage relationships by thinking we’re unworthy of love and physical intimacy. As we devalue ourselves, we are connected with someone who feels quite the opposite.
A partner in a healthy relationship values his or her significant other, both internally or externally.
So, how do we stop sabotaging relationships?
We make a decision
If you are truly unhappy with your body and your appearance, your options to achieve happiness are limited.
You either can accept yourself as you are, or change the features that you dislike. There’s also, as the media does, photoshopping or filtering out your flaws.
There are no more options.
You have to make a decision. In my opinion the best one is to accept yourself as you are, and to love yourself. The confidence you bring will only add to the foundation of your relationship.
We stop all negative self-talk
It’s very common for us women to look in the mirror and see our flaws.
Everyone has something that they would like to change. Mine, I wish my hips were smaller and my abs were a six-pack.
If you look in the mirror and think, “Gosh, my hips are huge!” of course you’ll be unhappy with your appearance. However, if you look in the mirror and think, “Those squats are really helping my thighs!” you’ll feel better about yourself.
It can be difficult to flip the switch from negative to positive thoughts. If it takes a while, that’s okay. In the meantime, keep your negative thoughts to yourself, or to a minimum.
Also, don’t put yourself down in front of your partner. It only breeds negativity.
We rock and love the body we stand in
Many women with body image issues have trouble maintaining relationships because they are unwilling to allow their partner to see their body.
Remember, your partner has already found your body attractive with clothing on, and here’s a secret, they’ve probably already got a good idea of what your body looks like with your clothing off.
So, rock your body.
Be proud of all your imperfections.
Love the body you stand in.
In doing so it may save your relationship.