A thin waist, clear complexion, and perfect hair. It is every Queen’s dream to have the perfect body image. But is your idea of body image realistic? If not kept in check, the way we view our bodies can severely impact our self-esteem and mental health.
What Exactly Is Body Image?
When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see, or do you wish that you were someone different? Our body image is how we view our self in our mind. It is how we behave when we think of our height, weight, skin tone, facial structure, curves, and hair. Some avoid looking into the mirror because they struggle with self-hatred. A positive body image is essential to our mental health.
Eating disorders and depression is linked to having a negative body image. Women are more likely than men to have an obsession with how they look. This is because of the pressure from the media. Magazine covers often show thin bodies and light skin complexions. TV shows have adjusted to an extent, but it still the norm to see someone with light skin and a thin frame to be playing the lead role. Your past and circumstances also affect how you view your body. If you were always teased and bullied as a child, you might be the adult that is always trying some extreme diet. And struggling with obesity causes some to have a form of bulimia. To avoid weight gain, some even force themselves to vomit by putting their finger down their throat. This is an unhealthy practice that can lead to heart failure.
Myths That We Need To Ignore
So many myths in the fashion industry has distorted how one views their body. Because of false advertising, many resort to methods that may change their appearance for a while. But in the long-term, your inner health and outer beauty will suffer.
Lightning creams. Having dark skin is a beautiful thing. Don’t ever feel like you have to buy lightning cream to change your skin tone. The side effects of these creams are cancer, infertility, permanent scarring, skin inflammation, etc.
Butt injections. The beauty industry sadly likes to push the whole “Big Booty Judy” hype. What is not being promoted enough though, is the females who have lost limbs, skin tissue, and even their lives from butt injections. Even if you get it done by a licensed professional, the dangers are not worth the risk.
Tanning beds. There is an infatuation with being light-skinned and it has caused skin cancer in Caucasian women. Tanning beds emit UV rays. This can cause premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, and age spots. It also can cause melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Extreme fasting. It is a huge myth that starving yourself is a healthy way to lose weight. Intermittent fasting can help you control how you eat, but going without food for days can affect your kidneys and damage your metabolism.
Our bodies can be likened to a temple. We need proper nourishment, respect, and love. As long as you are eating healthy and getting the proper exercise, you are on the right track. Don’t overstress yourself with unrealistic standards. Practice saying positive statements about yourself in the mirror every day. How we look on the outside is only one component of what makes us. How we are on the inside matters more. So, love what you see, and keep on working on becoming a better you.
Toward a More Inclusive Understanding of the Body Image Construct: Findings from Studies with Black Women: The Role of the Media in Body Image and Eating Disorders