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Body Image: Why is it an Image?

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Body image is a serious issue for many people. These two words simply define the view one has of their body, right? In most cases, the opposite is often true. What do I mean? Well, many people tend to associate ”body image” with the external world. They place too much importance on how others view them as opposed to how they see themselves. Now, not only does this create extreme unhappiness but it also confuses one even more than before because the view of others will cause deep dissatisfaction within.

By definition, the word “Image” places this materialistic importance on the external. If everyone is trying to satisfy the way they look externally, then I would be more concerned with the rapid rise of materialism in this world. What is real and what isn’t? Let’s set our standards for what we want our body to look. Now you may ask how can I define my own happiness regarding my own body image? Stop looking at magazine covers, stop comparing yourself to celebrities, and most definitely don’t ask your friends for what they consider to be the “Perfect Body.” Look within yourself – I mean deep within your soul and ask yourself – What lights my soul on fire? Stop chasing the “Perfect Body Image,” because, in reality, you’ll keep chasing it for the rest of your life. Do you know why? Society will never let you feel satisfied with your own body. Therefore, you rise at a time like this and declare to society that you will not give it any power over deciding how you want to feel about your own body.

Let’s take a look at the level of dissatisfaction created by chasing this notion of “Body Image” in our society. Here are some statistics provided by Magnolia Creek that will surely make you question the importance society places on the unrealistic definition of “Body Image”:
Body Image Statistics Data
Percent of all women who are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting 91 %
Percent of women who say the images of women in the media makes them feel insecure 80 %
Percent of college-aged girls who feel pressured to be a certain weight 58 %
Percent of girls in 1st through 3rd grade who want to be thinner 42 %
Percent of 10-year-olds who are afraid of being fat 81 %
Percent of teenage girls who are, or think they should be, on a diet 53 %
Percent of teenage girls who reported being teased about their weight 30 %
Percent of teenage boys who reported being teased about their weight 25 %
Percent of girls ages 15-17 who want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance 90 %
Percent of teen boys using unproven supplements and/or steroids 12 %
Percent of girls age 15-17 who acknowledged having an eating disorder 13 %
Percent of women who stated they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future 40 %
Percent of men who stated they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future 20 %
Total annual revenue of the weight loss industry $55,400,000,000
Total number of people with an eating disorder in the U.S. 8,000,000

I have no words to describe my view of these numbers. Why is the younger population in our society questioning themselves such heavily? Why are people so unhappy with the way they look? Why are people continually comparing themselves to others?

Just pause. Seriously, just stop what you are doing and breathe.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What is my definition of the body I would like to achieve for myself?
Who am I comparing myself to and why?
What concept advertised by society about “Body Image” am I running after and why?
What will make me happy?
Am I happy even after I lost those ten pounds?
The way you perceive yourself is perhaps the most important thing. The view of others is baseless because in reality their opinion is based on all these concepts of body image thrown around by the media, television, movies, magazines, social media, etc. So are you trying to lose weight for that friend of yours? Well, let me assure you – your friend has no clue what kind of body will make them happy. Your journey is a process, and it is your responsibility to make it a pleasant ride.

I want to leave you with this:
“How I feel about myself is more important than how I look. Feeling confident, being comfortable in your skin – that’s what really makes you beautiful.” ~ Bobbi Brown

Now, love yourself and own it!

Love,
Manisha

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