Body image and its damaging effects – comparison to perfection

Body image, is how we perceive ourselves, our bodies. It is not a mental health problem by itself but it does add-on to other mental health problems. It is found that even though the body image itself directly may not impact your life, the dissatisfaction with your body leads to poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of eating behaviors and disorders. On the other hand, body satisfaction and appreciation has been linked to better overall well-being and fewer unhealthy dieting habits. Thus, it is important that we know how we perceive our body image.

If you check the history of ideal body types you will realize it has changed over time. The Venus of Willendorf – a statue was carved about 20,000 years ago as a paradigm of fertility, it is very different from what is considered as attractive today. For them the ideal body type of a woman is in which she can is healthy and well-nourished so that she can give birth to many children. The ideal body image has been changing from centuries. There are no scientific facts about it these are notions that hold sway only by their popularity among people, they are not important if we don’t give them that importance.

Thus, gaining weight or losing weight or looking a certain way does not make you more or less attractive.
Today, we can see celebrities follow certain fashion standards and influence how an ideal body should look. They have huge following and what they do and how they dress, does impact millions of other people who follow them. We must stop idealizing them and see that they too struggle with human insecurities.
People do not understand the damaging effects of comparing yourself to another be it emotionally or mentally or physically.
If you really want to follow the image and have a perfect body, there is no actual limit to it. You can lose weight but then you’ll notice you have body hair which is considered unattractive and an unwanted. Either you can do waxing or laser treatment and they are both pretty painful. Hey! But after that you’ll think of nails, long nails with nail art. After that you may want hair colour as highlights look great and what about make-up. Still not satisfied go for plastic surgery. There is nothing wrong in getting any of these things done, but don’t do them just to ease your insecurity about your body image. It won’t work. Body image is closely linked to self-esteem, lower self-esteem can lead to early sexual activities eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. People who are unhappy with their bodies have a higher risk of getting an eating disorder.

One way to avoid negative body image is to surround yourself with people who are positive. Don’t let yourself get into peer pressure to lose weight. It is a gradual process to love yourself. It cannot happen in a day or two. It can take months or years to destroy a belief system that prevents you from loving yourself.
People struggle through eating disorders which is because of this idea of losing weight and getting the ideal body type if you want to be attractive. Anorexia is an eating disorder in which the person starves oneself in order to get thin and later on binges on food. They feel so guilty as eating that they vomit it out intentionally. It is seen that anorexia is more common in women. Anorexia is a fatal disorder; it would kill you if you don’t treat it. Everyone should encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle, keep themselves healthy mentally and physically. And remember you can’t look beautiful and happy if you aren’t healthy.
We must tell ourselves very firmly that the social media does convey the full story of the picture. Neither does it tell you the struggle or price of success that was paid to achieve it.

About the author

Srishti Wadhwa

Hi! I am Srishti, an inspiring writer. Still working on transforming writing from "passion to profession". New updates every Sunday.

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