Jayme Zimmermann gives you the inside scoop on how to become more body positive.
Body negativity affects all individuals in some capacity. But now, with the rise of the media (especially social media), people are constantly able to compare themselves with airbrushed images of celebrities and influencers.
According to The National Eating Disorders Collaboration, approximately 15% of the Australian population struggles with eating disorders and disordered eating, with body negativity being a major contributing factor.
The media allows people to be constantly connected, but sometimes, constantly seeing images of “perfect” bodies can be damaging to one’s self-esteem.
Body negativity affects everyone in varying degrees, and thus, it’s important to know the warning signs to avoid entering a detrimental territory.
According to Headspace, signs of poor body image include:
- Having disordered eating habits
- Being obsessive with your weight and exercising
- Being continually self-critical about your appearance
- Constantly comparing yourself to others
The National Eating Disorders Collaboration is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health. They have amazing resources for people struggling with body image, including an array of tips for becoming more body positive.
Here are a few great starting points:
1. Focus on the positives
It’s important to focus on your positive qualities, skills and talents, as this will allow you to appreciate and accept yourself as a whole.
2. Avoid self-deprecating jokes
Replacing negative or berating self-talk with positive language can also help.
It’s common to use humour to mask insecurity (I think we’re all guilty of it), but trying to stop that will ultimately help you to verify your self-worth.
3. Think biologically
Try to focus on appreciating and respecting what your body can do, rather than how it appears. Similarly, set yourself health-focused goals, rather than aesthetic ones.
People often focus on weight loss when suffering from body image issues, but shifting to health goals will be more beneficial for your overall well-being.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s crucial to accept yourself as a whole and remember that everyone is unique, and differences are what make us special. When you compare yourself to others, you tend to forget that no two people are the same, and that it doesn’t matter how others look in comparison to you.
5. Remember that the images you see are not “real”
It’s critical to remember that many media images are very unrealistic, as they are heavily edited.
It’s easy to believe in unrealistic and unreachable beauty standards when you compare yourself to these images, but in reality, the people in them don’t really look like that.
It’s key to know that no person is perfect. Never forget that you are beautiful and unique in every way.
For additional support, please make use of the following resources: