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BODY IMAGE ISSUES

Written by Writer Manesha Jadon Edited by Mrinali Jadhav

Consider your own body for a moment. Few of us, I believe, have our minds saturated with reassuring, comforting thoughts and sentiments.However, having a positive body image is an important element of living a happy and fulfilling life.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

 Most people are self-conscious about at least one aspect of their physical appearance. Constant exposure to media representations of immaculate human beauty can make us more aware of our own physical flaws. Women’s magazines promote self-acceptance and self-love, but they’re also full of stories about how to acquire a stunning summer bod, a better booty, flat abs, a tiny waist, toned arms, and the list goes on. It’s hardly surprising that an increasing number of people have body image issues in light of these widespread messages.These difficulties range from minor discomforts to major discomforts.The concept of body image is a continuous.

Although most people associate body image with weight and form, the phrase actually refers to all aspects of physical appearance, including age, facial features, and gender.Although most people have various degrees of appreciation and criticism for their bodies, Luce views body image as a continuum.

When discussing body image, for example, a person may discuss which portions of their body they like and which parts they dislike. Others may describe themselves as feeling good about their bodies in general but wanting to modify certain features.The perception of one’s body is fluid and ever-changing. At various times of life, such as as they get older, people’s perceptions of themselves tend to move along a spectrum.

BDD

These problems might range from a small inconvenience to an obsession with a body part that consumes one’s every single morning. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) causes people to obsess over their physical faults, whether they are genuine or imagined.

BDD is a mental health illness characterised by a persistent obsession with one or more body parts, producing considerable distress and interfering with daily functioning. It affects one percent of the population, both men and women. Others may be unable to see this section of their body, or it may be barely visible.

People with BDD experience feelings that go beyond anxiety when looking in the mirror; they have a constant concern with their appearance. BDD differs from a general sense of dissatisfaction with one’s physical appearance in five ways.

BDD patients have a recurring obsession with a specific body part (common areas include hair, skin, nose, chest, or stomach). They can focus on a single body part for hours or even days at a time.Their perceived flaw could be a little flaw or wholly invisible to others, and it usually passes unreported.Because they can’t focus on anything but their perceived weakness, their fixation with it interferes with their daily lives.

Sufferers have social anxiety and avoid social situations for fear of others noticing their flaws and ridiculing or rejecting them.Sufferers engage in compulsive or repetitive behaviours such as excessive grooming, cosmetic concealment, and surgery and other physical modifications. At most, these habits bring only short comfort.

Body image is influenced by a variety of things.We are continuously bombarded with messages from a variety of sources, including friends, family, the media, and other outside influences.Before western television was introduced to Fiji, Luce conducted a series of studiesOpens in a new window on the island.

There were no known incidences of eating disorders in Fiji at the time. According to the findings, the first incidences of eating and body image issues appeared after western television was introduced into their culture.”Body image has long been shaped by culture, which defines and dictates what is attractive. For better or worse, the media is a powerful force that may form and impact culture “Luce explained.

When resources were rare, a larger body weight was a sign of fertility and richness, but as resources have become more abundant, thinness or fitness is considered as a symbol of wealth since it shows more time for self-care, according to Luce. A slimmer appearance may reflect a stronger ability for fasting, which is linked to the virtue of self-control in some religious organisations.With the constant onslaught of information, Luce tells us that feeling pressured to appear a certain way is understandable.

BDD SUFFERERS DEALING WITH ISSUES

Researchers discovered that people with BDD experience a variety of visual processing issues. Their attention and visual processing might become particularly fixated and restricted as a result of their usual focus on one specific aspect of their appearance; they have difficulties perceiving the entire image of themselves. When they gaze in the mirror, they also have trouble understanding their own feelings.

BDD is thought to be a perceptual barrier that protects people from feeling their most vulnerable and anxiety-inducing emotions.Demographically, negative body images are common.According to a 2018 pollOpens in a new window, research undertaken in the 1980s found that people rarely felt positive in their bodies, a conclusion that still holds true today. In the past, women had a more unfavourable body image than men. White women were also more likely to have a negative body image, according to Luce, but this is changing.

“There has been a profusion of body image marketing to every ethnic group and gender in the last 20 to 30 years. Body image advertising that targets everyone is now available, resulting in an increase in body image issues and eating disorders among all types of people “Luce said.What does it mean to have a positive body image?When a person has a good body image, they recognise that their sense of self-worth is unrelated to their physical appearance.

Possessing a positive body image entails:accepting and enjoying one’s entire body, including how it appears and what it can accomplishhaving a broad understanding of what it is to be beautifulhaving a consistent body imagehaving a positive mindsetThe body positive movement tries to assist people in coping with the pressures that media messages place on their bodies.

“Beauty is not a single image, but the active embodiment and celebration of the person,” according to The Body Positive movement.It’s not only about body size or appearance when it comes to body positivity. Control and confidence are other significant aspects.

What does it mean to have a negative perception of one’s own body?

A person who has a poor body image is unhappy with their physical appearance and body.The person may: compare themselves to others and feel inadequate when doing so; feel humiliated or embarrassed when doing so; lack confidence in their body; feel uncomfortable or awkward in their body; see parts of their body, such as their nose, in a distorted manner.

Negative body image can also contribute to mental health problems like depression.Unnecessary surgery, risky weight-loss habits (such as crash dieting), or the misuse of hormones to build muscles are all possibilities. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), there is a clear correlation between eating disorders and poor body image.Advice on how to improve your body image

Here are some suggestions to make a person feel better about themselves:

Start a hobby, volunteer, or do something else that will make you feel good about yourself instead of focusing about your physique.Aim for a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced and nutritious food.Spend time with folks who are upbeat and optimistic.Wear clothes that are both comfy and flattering.

Compare yourself to others as little as possible.Keep in mind that beauty isn’t simply about looks.Take notice of the things your body can do, such as laugh, dance, and create.Actively question media messages and pictures that make you feel like you should be unique.Make a list of ten qualities you admire in yourself.

Consider yourself as a full person, not just a flaw in one portion of your body.Pep talk with yourself


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