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Does the way I look define who I am?! Learn about body image issues.

Body image is how we look and feel about our bodies. It’s not just how we physically look but also our own mental pictures of our bodies and our feelings about them. What happens more often is we feel negatively about our own bodies. Have you ever looked into a mirror and disliked some part of yourself, or wished that you could just alter it, hide it, wanting it to be some other way?

In many cases, negative feedback, jokes, body shaming, criticism about any type, shape or size of body can alter the way you think and feel about your body and how you perceive yourself as well as others! Have you heard a negative comment about a physical attribute at any point in your life? Such statements can really get to us, make us scrutinize ourselves and even dislike our own bodies. Sometimes even the best of us can falter, regardless of what actually our bodies are like we may fixate, find faults in them or dislike parts of them.

Another major reason is an unrealistic standard of a flawless or a perfect body that we get constant exposure to through billboards, magazines, tv shows, movies, video games, the internet etc. It’s unending. Moreover, social media apps that edit or filter out your blemishes, flaws, fats give the underlying meaning that these parts of your bodies should be hidden or that they’re undesirable. This attaches a negative connotation to something that is natural and a part of you.

A study done by University of Haifa on females says that the more time girls spent on social media, the more they suffered conditions of bulimia, anorexia, physical dissatisfaction, negative physical self-image, negative approach to eating and increased urge to be on a weight-loss diet.

Another research done in 2020 says that social media use, time spent on manipulating selfies has a positive correlation with body dissatisfaction in adult men.

Its reasons like these we need to look to positive social media such as Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign that uses real, unedited women that are relatable, flawed, and average. This portrays acceptance and comfort in our own selves and that every nook and cranny of our body is ours and real and we like and celebrate it as it is.

An important note here is that any physical attribute someone else finds undesirable or is perceived by you to be undesirable is not who you are reduced to. Yeah sure, you can go ahead and starve yourself, go on diets, put on layers of makeup or even do multiple surgeries to change the way you look but you’ll be still be who you are. What is outside will not change what is inside, because your attributes and personality is not defined by your appearance, image or your body. Everything about you tells your story so being comfortable in your own skin and body can really go a long way in giving you some peace of mind.

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