Wednesday, May 4 2016

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Hello! My name is Tarsh and I’m going to be doing blog posts pretty regularly from now on. I have an honours degree in psychology, and will be talking mostly about body image and related topics. The honours thesis I wrote last year was all about body image, exercise and eating so I have done quite a bit of research about all of this type of thing. I hope to cover a range of topics and issues so stay tuned and I hope you enjoy it and maybe even get something out of it.

How to Fix Your Body Image

Have you seen headlines like this before? “10 steps to overcome bad body image” or “One thing to overcome a negative body image.” Maybe you saw it in the form of “How to be body confident at the beach.” You see these articles in magazines, health websites, blogs; body image seems to be everywhere. These articles contain advice like: write down 5 things you love about your body, get a spray tan, start exercising to tone up. The thing is, there is no 10 steps, no one hot tip, no magic formula. These publications are trying to convince you that you can easily change and manipulate the way you see your body.

The truth is, everyone’s different. One rule or process isn’t going to apply to everyone and make you love your body overnight. It is nowhere near as easy as these articles make it seem. So if you’ve read these articles, done all the things it tells you, but you still aren’t brimming with body confidence? Then what? Well, it’s not actually your fault.

Body image is such a complicated and deeply rooted psychological phenomenon, and it really doesn’t have much to do with what your body actually looks like, which is why people of all body types, shapes and sizes can be affected by negative body image (many articles have referenced Victora’s Secret models as suffering from bad body image from time to time, and many people see their bodies as *goals* or the standard in beauty. So it doesn’t really have much to do with what your body actually looks like!). Many of these articles that address body image really aren’t getting to the nitty gritty of the problem. Mainly the articles that make you focus on your body, and not what’s going on inside.

So this is my message for you: if you start reading an article about body image or confidence and it’s telling you to lose weight, buy different clothes, wear makeup, get a spray tan or any of these external type things, put it down and slowly back away. Articles like this aren’t going to help you automatically love yourself. If anything, it might make you feel worse about how much you exercise or the clothes you wear.

Don’t get me wrong, if boyfriend jeans make you feel a million bucks or if you only feel fully dressed with winged eyeliner, then that’s perfect! You’ve found something that makes you happy and confident, but I bet you didn’t read it from some article.

And that is exactly my point. You can’t copy tips from a body-confident person and expect it to change your whole life. Body image is so personal to you no matter your body, there’s a high chance a new wardrobe isn’t going to change how you feel about it. Just keep doing and thinking the little things that make you feel good about yourself, the change comes from inside!

Tarsh

For more information on Body Image checkout our body image topic page and also head over to the awesome body image campaign Fresh Faced Friday 

Image credit: Via Creative Commons on  Flickr 

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