What is body image?

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

~Kahlil Gibran

Body image is the perception that you have about your body’s attractiveness and shape. We come in a million different shapes and sizes, but our society often tells us that only a few particular shapes and sizes are nice.  What do you think?

According to Body Talk (published by Owlkids Books in 2006 and a great book by two 14 year-olds, Ann and Julie Douglas), by the time you reach high school you will have seen 350,000 commercials. At least 50% of those will advocate being thin and beautiful… can you say “brainwashing?”

Yes. You could be a victim of brainwashing. Consider this:  

When you were two, were you ashamed of your body?  Or did you just run around and spin until you got dizzy and enjoyed feeling what it was like to be “you?”  Do you still feel that way?  Or do you sometimes feel like your body isn’t good enough? That you should:

*BE taller, *BE slimmer, *BE more muscular, *have a flatter stomach, *have a smaller nose, *have better skin, *have better hair, *have a different color hair, *have smaller thighs, *have smaller ankles, *HAVE a better butt

Now ask yourself this: Would you say those things to your friend? Would you look at your best friend and say, “Your nose is so big. Ugh, it’s so ugly.”  

We bet you probably would not say those things to your friend. So why do you allow yourself to say them to yourself? You may need to be your best friend.

“I think whatever size or shape body you have, it’s important to embrace it and get down!

~ Christina Aguilera

How you feel about your body is ultimately up to you. So take a few minutes to think about how you would like your best friend to feel about his/her body, and then adopt that way of thinking about your own body. Then move onto the next few posts where we will explore how images of beauty have changed over time and what factors contribute to your body image.

Post Question:

What are the things you say to yourself about your body? Would you say them to a friend?

Answer the post question here

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