January 1, 2013 by luzzara
Self-image – the idea, conception, or mental imageone has of oneself.
Over the last few months I have taken being healthy to a new level and over the last couple of weeks I have been reminded a lot about self image, the way we see our self and how that affects our emotional, mental and physical state. I began to do some research on how a positive self image is reflected in media, pop culture and on the internet, and found it truly hard to find information or videos that reflect accepting / positive views of self. This actually has made me pretty annoyed, in this last year before I turn thirty, the idea of being in a culture that doesn’t promote the positive of all, really bothers me.
I started to think about this when I came across a picture of Marilyn Monroe, she is compared a lot to models today. In the past women were found to be attractive and desirable if they had curves (birthing hips some say) men were deemed attractive if they were strong and could take care of the family. Today, it’s more about who will look the best in the clothes that someone has deemed to be trendy and popular.
Over the last week I’ve watched a lot of documentaries, tv shows and youtube videos about weight, weight loss, body image and came to a few very interesting observations.
When you are unhappy with your body you see what others don’t. I don’t know too many people who have married/fallen in love with the person that they “thought” they would. They fall in love with a person, short, tall, butts, beer bellies and all. Why do we have such a struggle with loving ourselves as much as those around us or why do we not let people love us for our strength and in spite of our “weaknesses”?
I the British documentary “Super Skinny Me” over six weeks two reporters take on the challenge of going from a size 10 to 0 in a short amount of time. Over the six weeks we see how they do loss weight and their bodies change, but you also see how the are not just losing weight, but their mind as well. Each report tries different fad diets each week (promoted or found in pop culture) to see how far they can push themselves to be thin. Over the coarse of the documentary you hear from family, friends and coworkers and the over all consensus is that having such restrictions/obsession, actually began to take away the reporters sense of self, they became these drones that couldn’t move or think clearly. At the end one reporter had been told she was border lining an eating disorder, the other made it to size 0, but she states she was way happier when she was a size 10. She valued her time with her boyfriend which she had little of when working so hard to be as small as possible, she valued the energy she had when she was able to eat food she enjoyed. This is extreme but what was clear was that your exterior has the ability to change, yes, but once it does its your mind that has to love what’s there and how to have an accepting mind is the real challenge.
This led me to wonder what are the triggers that lead us to not accepting our bodies? The human form is beautiful, the distinct differences between all bodies is actually one of natures most beautiful and interesting blessings, hard to believe that one “form” can have so many amazing variations. I have been talking to a lot of my friends about this over the last few weeks and both the men and women I spoke with have huge insecurities, some even with extremely fit “ideal” bodies and others are happy in their own skinny, knowing they could/should have a smaller tummy or nicer arms. I watched this youtube video and it hit the nail on the head, society is cruel, people have insecurities that they project onto others, they have a sense of entitlement that leads them to believe that they can say and do whatever they want even if it is wrong or misinformed. These insecurities start at a young age, when it isn’t combated with strong role models that own who they are and I truly mean WHO they are, not what they look like that comes once you own who you are, then the youth begin to start to believe these word, images that pop culture bombard them with, then as adults it takes a long time to realize that confidence that some hold and others don’t isn’t from the size of jeans they wear or hot great they look in a bikini or with out a tee-shirt, it has way more to do with knowing who you are and what you stand for, finding self.
All of these words: esteem, worth, image, when proceeded with the word self our society has made it negative, if you google “self esteem” things that comes up are about “strengthening” “building” and why is that? Self esteem is the emotional evaluation of his or her own worth, and why aren’t we starting with a positive and accepting self worth rather then having society tell us that we should improve our self worth to meet what “we” deem to be acceptable.
Men, women, children, gay, straight, old, young… we all have insecurities we all might have an image of what would be our ideal, but isn’t it time to take a deep breath and say “I love who I am today” “I accept others who they are inside and out” our self image can be so damaging to not only ourselves but to everyone around us, projecting our negative energy and disappointments will only propitiate others to take more value in the bad rather then the good. So today, don’t judge, yourself or others, encourage, compliment and promote self love, we will get so much further if this is what we teach and the energy we put out.
Remember you are not your body! Great Tedtalk