Knowing the causes of negative body image helps guide you towards healing those beliefs.
No matter what your body actually looks like, the way you think about yourself determines your body image.
Since you were young, you followed the example of your parents and family.
This did not stop at learning to walk, talk, and eat.
It spread into other areas of your life, too.
Mainly, your body image and self esteem.
By the time you’re an adult, your body image is already established.
The good news is, you can undo the negative body image beliefs you picked up through childhood and change your relationship with your body.
Why we’re wired to copy other people – 2:03
Consider what things you were praised for as a kid – 4:40
Your parents are flawed humans just like everyone else – 9:31
Why putting your value in your appearance is risky – 13:52
Decreasing your emphasis on appearance increases positive body image – 17:37
The people you spend time around are a big influence on how you think. Growing up, those were very formative years. So if your parents, siblings, and friends always talked about appearance, you’re wired to believe appearance is important.
This can be especially damaging during adolescence and puberty because almost everyone experiences an awkward phase. Hearing negative things during this time in your life probably lead you to believe that’s part of who you are as a person.
Even when your body changes, you lose weight or your acne clears up, you still see yourself as that chubby ugly girl no one asked to the prom. This is where turning around your thoughts is critical.
You’re an adult now. You can choose to behave differently than the person you were in puberty. Consider how much emphasis you’re placing on appearance and course-correct.
So if your parents talk about appearance a lot, try spending less time with them. You can even try talking with them about how it’s effecting your mentality. Remember, you’re in control.
Just because your parents think appearance is important doesn’t mean it is. I’d argue appearance is one of the least important parts of a human being.
There’s more to body confidence than just liking the way your body looks, though.
In the next few weeks, I’m going to be talking about overcoming shame around menstruation. It’s a hugely avoided issue around body image and body confidence and considering half the population menstruates at some point in their life, I think it needs to be discussed.
So stick with me for that coming up!
Rebekah Buege is a body confidence coach helping strong women process critical thoughts and heal insecurities.
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