Post: 3 Factors That Affect Your Body Image

3 Factors That Affect Your Body Image

Body image issues have become widespread, affecting people of all ages, genders, and cultures. According to data, 41.5% of women feel particularly uncomfortable with their bodies, while a good number of men also feel apprehensive about their appearance. This statistic led to research findings indicating that millions of people developed eating disorders from body image issues. Thankfully, there are safer ways to address these issues and build self-confidence without any negative effects. While managing body image challenges, it’s helpful to understand some underlying factors that contribute to the issue. 

  1. Unrealistic beauty standards

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Beauty standards have constantly evolved within society and can be a major contributing factor to body image issues. The media, advertisements, and social media platforms often present an unrealistic standard of beauty primarily focused on stereotypes such as body size and skin type, not always representing the diverse range of body types and appearances in reality. Exposure to unrealistic beauty standards can cause a negative body image. It can lead to self-doubt, insecurity and anxiety, especially when you compare yourself to these images and perceive your appearance as inadequate. As a result, you may develop unhealthy coping mechanisms such as excessive dieting and binge eating, which can eventually harm your mental and physical health. Therefore, it would help if you disconnect from any platforms that constantly feed your mind with perceptions that could cause you to make unhealthy comparisons. Taking a social media break can help you refocus and shift your perspectives. 

  1. Trauma or past experiences

Negative experiences, like bullying, abuse, or body shaming, can negatively affect you and how you view your physical appearance. Before you know it, you become the most self-critical judge of yourself. However, experts say this self-criticism is backed by fear and leads to avoiding certain social situations, like changing in front of others or wearing form-fitting clothing. You can deal with this by opening up to a therapist or trusted loved one about your feelings. Doing this will help you get the encouragement you need to ignore negative voices. It will also give you the strength to face negative experiences head-on and eventually put them behind you. You can also consult a wellbeing coach to guide you through seeing the beauty from within. Adopting such mechanisms will eventually reflect in your posture, thoughts, and so on. However, in overcoming trauma or past experiences, remember to be kind to yourself and give yourself time.

  1. Low self-esteem

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Low self-esteem can be a significant factor in developing body image issues, especially when you judge your worth based on your looks. It involves constantly comparing yourself to others and seeking validation and acceptance from anyone willing to offer it. This belief often creates an obsession with weight loss, muscle building and harmful habits with serious mental and physical health consequences. Finding a support group with people facing similar situations can help give you the footing you need to overcome negative perceptions about your body image. However, if you know someone struggling with this, you can also make a conscious effort to help them overcome those hidden fears by reminding them about their positives and lending a listening ear.

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