Negative Body Image Overview
Body image is a term that refers to an individual’s view of their own body. This involves their assessment of their overall attractiveness, which may or may not correlate with societal expectations. A person’s body image is their outward perception of themselves and plays a significant role in the growth of their self-esteem and trust. Therefore having a negative body image of self greatly impact negatively on the emotional health of such a person
The creation of a positive body image often begins early in life and is nurtured by environmental influences. Family, friends, colleges, and the media all contribute to a person’s body image growth.
Body image is often inextricably linked to a person’s self-esteem and acceptance of who they are. That is why developing a positive body image is important for a woman’s mental and emotional health throughout her life. If not nurtured properly, it appears to foster a negative self-image and body image. A negative body image may be a primary contributor to a variety of mood and personality disorders, eating disorders, and mental health issues.
Body image has nothing to do with a person’s true physical attractiveness. It’s a psychological phenomenon that explains why some girls feel confidently attractive regardless of their form, height, or colour, while others are sick and suffering from an eating disorder, and are extremely unhappy and uncomfortable about their bodies.
Characteristics of a Negative Body Image
Many women struggle with an unrealistic body image, which can have a detrimental effect on their mental and emotional health. The following are telltale signs that someone might have a negative body image:
- Extremely critical of themselves and self-conscious of their physical characteristics.
- A proclivity for physical comparisons with other individuals.
- Envious of a celebrity’s or another person’s physical appearance.
- Susceptible to obsessive dieting in order to reach their ideal body weight.
- Having an eating disorder.
What You Should Do to Help
An individual who has an unhealthy body image can benefit from your assistance and counsel. Although assisting others in reshaping their body image mentality will not be easy, you will certainly inspire and influence them in positive ways.
However, if the woman you meet suffers from an eating disorder, she almost definitely would need clinical assistance. It is not something that can be resolved over a cup of coffee and a girlie chat. You should, however, assist them in recognizing that they do, in reality, need clinical assistance in order to maintain mental and physical health.
Here are several strategies for assisting someone you meet who is struggling with a negative body image.
Make Them Feel Important and Loved
Remind them that they are cherished and valued by you and the people in their immediate vicinity. Compliment them and provide them with constructive feedback, but do not overdo it. Maintain a natural and honest demeanour, and never lie! Tell them nothing that you and they all know is false. You must encourage them in a constructive manner.
Remind Them That Health and Beauty Are Internal
To assist a woman with a negative body image in resetting her perceptions of health and appearance, you must remind her that these characteristics originate inside. Encourage them to disregard what they see in the news and on magazine covers. This is phony beauty; this is not genuine beauty.
It is well-known that many of the photographs of ‘gorgeous’ women used in contemporary magazines have been photo-shopped prior to publication. Many of them even cause a stir if they are photographed in their ‘normal’ state by the paparazzi. Inform your friend that they look fantastic at every time of day!
Encourage Them to Be Truthful to You
Assure them that you are available to them and that they can share their feelings openly in front of you. You should provide a judgment-free space for them to express their thoughts and feelings. Consider yourself a listener, not a talker. Enable them to express themselves and be understood. You will learn and appreciate their motivations, and in the end, you will win their confidence and love.
A person’s thoughts and perceptions about their own bodies developed over time and through a series of meaningful experiences. Recognize that you cannot change someone’s negative body image immediately. Negativity took time to grow; it will take time to prune away all negativity. At the very least, you can assist and contribute. Small gestures make a big difference.