People come in different shapes and different sizes.
Everyone is unique, but in the present day, body image comes with many perceptions and struggles.
Our perception of the “ideal body image” generally stems from what is shown in the media, whether it be photo-shopped models on the covers of magazines, or actors in films with unobtainable bodies.
Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies, and 58% of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight.
Dealing with such a negative view of your own body can have serious psychological implications. Most self-esteem problems begin by feeling judged by our peers.
Dr. Kathleen Dindoff is a registered industrial organizational psychologist, and explains why we tend to care what others think of us. “With societal pressure on an idealized body image, people who don’t fit that are often ridiculed.” She adds that by nature, we all want to “fit in”.
A way to target low self-esteem and body image issues is to help build each other’s confidence, especially from a young age.
Dr. Dindoff suggests “not trying to push your kids to be the best, but helping them celebrate little successes is important, so people can be the best them that they are.”
It can be difficult to feel comfortable in your own body, and once you start feeling negative about yourself, you may feel challenged to fix whatever problem you may be experiencing.
This can be the cause of some serious lifestyle changes, like rigorous work out routines or a new diet.
Of course, healthy eating and exercise is a crucial part of living a balanced life, but once one or both of those things starts to consume your life, it could very well be doing more harm than good.
Instead, Dr. Dindoff offers some other solutions to help people to begin to get over their self-conscious mindset.
“Counselling is helpful, and particularly cognitive behavioral therapy. So if you can change the way you think about things, you will change your behavior.”