What is body Image? In short, this is how we view our body, the opinion we have about our body. I’m quite fortunate, I think, that I have not struggled with having a negative body image, because I have a beach-ready Instagram perfect body!
My general contentment with the way my body looks simply comes from the fact that I don’t really care about the pressure to look a certain way. I do not look like an Instagram model and I am fine with that. Instagram models don’t always look like Instagram models themselves! As long as my body functions well and does what I need it to do, I’m more than happy. I feel very much the same way about my car. I refuse to give any worth or energy to anybody, or any source, which tells me I need to look a certain way to be happy or attractive. In fact, I might argue that the happiest people I know are also the most attractive, and it’s nothing to do with how they look, it’s because the attractiveness is coming from their lovely disposition, it’s not coming from the features of their body.
I do know it’s hard to push against this social conditioning of aspiring to look a certain way, but it’s a road that never leads to fulfillment or contentment, the only way to be happy with the way you look is to just be who you are, accept who you are and do things which make you happy. Not because other people say you should do them or that you should look a certain way. Any social media or adverts which push you towards being dissatisfied with your body are not worth giving any of your precious time and energy to.
The tide is beginning to turn, I think, as people are starting to be more real on social media (#nofilters) and mainstream TV shows like Loose Women are running campaigns for body positivity. We have a way to go but let’s celebrate uniqueness and insist every body is perfect, not just the ones the media tells us are. Why not?
One thing that gives me hope for the next generation is Turn Beauty Inside Out Day. It’s an attempt to expand our definition of what makes people beautiful and to support a healthy body image. This redefinition of beauty is based on good works, great hearts, and activism and children are encouraged to write and create depictions of their own positive images of inner beauty.
I’ll leave you with this link where you can read some winning essays by young girls aged 11-13 from last year’s Turn Beauty Inside Out Day. They make me smile and give me hope for the future.