This week Sunshine State Counseling Center is focusing on Body Positivity. Body positivity is asserting that your body is beautiful regardless of societal and popular culture views. EveryBODY deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Many individuals in our society are told “You should workout to look better” or “You are too skinny”, “You look heavy”, etc. Individuals regardless of gender, age, race, weight or socioeconomic status may suffer from body dissatisfaction. A report published by Common Sense Media found that more than 50% of girls and nearly 33% of boys between the ages of 6 and 8 felt that their ideal body weight was less than their current weight.
Body Positivity can mean different things, but all involve the final message, “All bodies are beautiful”. Some examples of Body Positivity are: Self-Love, feeling confident about your body, accepting your body’s shape and size, appreciating your body as it is; including if you believe that you have flaws. One of the major goals of body positivity is to address ways that body image may affect mental health and well-being.
Some problems that can occur from poor body image are:
- Depression: Some researchers believe that body dissatisfaction may explain as to why women may have higher rates of depression than men.
- Low-Self Esteem: Research found that individuals who are unsatisfied about their body tend to have higher rates of low self-esteem regardless of gender, age, and ethnicity.
- Eating Disorders: Research indicates that body dissatisfaction is liked to eating disorders especially among adolescent girls.
Things YOU can do to increase Self-Love
- Self-Care: Look for things that make you feel comfortable and make you feel good about yourself in the now. Get rid of social media that does not make you feel good about yourself. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others, you are less likely to feel good about yourself. Follow accounts that leave you with positive feelings.
- Adopt Body Neutrality: It is okay to admit that you do not love everything about your body. Sometimes faking positivity can be harmful, it is okay to feel neutral or indifferent about your body. Your self-worth and value are not determined by your shape or weight or any other physical aspect. You are more than just your physical appearance so take a moment and focus on the parts about you that you like.