This year’s mental health awareness week was revolving around the topic of body image. This is something that affects nearly everybody and is relevant all the time, which is why Charli and I have decided to work together und present our thoughts, even though the mental health awareness week is over. We need to pay attention to our mental health not one week per year, but every week. I am very happy to say that I have found a very motivated and inspiring partner in Charli. Our idea was to recreate a situation nearly everyone has experienced before: Standing in front of the mirror and just seeing all the things that are wrong with your body. It often happens that an inner dialogue between the “negative voice” (often called the devil) and the “positive voice” (also named the angel) takes place and you end up not knowing how to feel about yourself. Charli took the position of the devil in this scenario and I recreated the angel’s voice. The way we wrote it, the devil speaks first, so you can find Charli’s part here.
Since she is a great blogger, I would also strongly recommend you to check out all her other blog posts and her social media profiles. Here you can find her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
We hope to have hit the right note and you can relate to what we wrote.
Hold on, I would like you to stop there. There is nothing wrong with your body, you are totally okay the way you are. Stop torturing yourself and making yourself feel bad. Your weight is totally fine, you really shouldn’t skip meals, because it will only drain the energy you need. Skipping meals or trying to lose weight by not eating is the worst possible idea.
And the blemishes on your face are okay too. There are possibilities to treat them other than just covering up, but you don’t have to do either of these things because it is okay to have them. There are so many people out there, who have it and there is no reason to hold yourself down because of this. You think your chest and bottom are to small? That is physically not possible, because you just said you would weigh too much. Regarding the implants: They may change your looks, but they don’t change you or your personality, you will still be the same person. And who says that it would work, and you actually will look better afterwards, there is so much that can go wrong. This is not worth it.
I don’t think that there is anything wrong with your nose either and even if it was, who would care about that? Who even says that someone notices any of these things? You are wrong to believe that your friends or family would pay attention to pimples on your thighs or hair on your arm. These things are totally normal and nothing you should be disgusted by. Every person on this planet has hair on their arms, there is not a single reason why you should be concerned about it. You are being too hard on yourself. Your back might be curved, but that should not take away all your confidence. You are an amazing person, regardless of what you look like or what you think about how you look. Beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder. You can be the most beautiful person, but there will still be something you don’t like. It would be easier to accept your body the way it is and be happy with yourself instead of trying to look perfect. If there are small things you would like to change; you want to get a tattoo or colour your hair or wear makeup; that is totally fine, but don’t force things on yourself and most of all, don’t shame yourself for not being perfect. It is often the flaws that make us beautiful and unique.
Finally, here are some facts on body image and topics that are related to it. I think this topic is really interesting and very important in our society, so it never hurts to do some further reading:
1. Body image is the reason for many people to get an eating disorder
Source: Thompson, J. K., Heinberg, L. J., Altabe, M., & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (1999). Exacting beauty: Theory, assessment, and treatment of body image disturbance. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/10312-0002.
2. Make up was already used in the Greek, Egyptian and Roman eras, back then it was made from natura materials. In 2001 the make-up industry was worth 22.5 billion dollars globally and has risen further since
Source: Kumar, S. (2005). Exploratory analysis of global cosmetic industry: major players, technology and market trends. Technovation, 25(11), 1263-1272.
3. In 1992, about 400.000 Americans had cosmetic surgery, wherease in 2002, it was nearly 6.6 million (this is an increase of 1600%)
Source: Sarwer, D.B., & Crerand, C.E. (2004). Body image and cosmetic medical treatments. Body Image, 1(1), 99-111.
4. Social Media influences our body image and what we deem desirable
Source: Perloff, R.M. (2014). Social Media Effects on Young Women’s Body Image Concerns: Theoretical Perspectives and an Agenda for Research. Sex Roles, 71(11-12), 363–377.