A Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Body Insecurities
Your body image is how you perceive, think and feel about your body’s size, shape and weight, body parts, features and hair. This is often distorted by your critical perception, in the sense that you may think you’re bigger, smaller, more aged, or in some way “less” than what you are.
Body image issues are more widespread today than ever before with over 80% of women claiming they are in some way dissatisfied with their bodies. I’ve even seen this with some of the most beautiful actresses and models that I’ve worked with. Doubts about our bodies have been sown across cultures with images of women who fit a very specific stereotype of beauty — young, perfectly mowed and manicured, with small waists and big boobs, flat bellies, fair with flawless skin, long legs, and the perfect mane. In reality, most women’s bodies don’t look like that but the airbrushed media ideal is so powerful and omnipresent, that it’s gotten deeply rooted into the psyche of most women. No wonder photo filters do so well, and that women (even teenage girls) are queuing up for beauty procedures that make them look more like their airbrushed ideals of beauty. Social media only makes it worse. Everyone is posting their well-produced, highly filtered images, after perfecting their best angles and I have often caught myself seeing images of old female friends who looked older 25 years ago than they do now…and I make a mental note to never be photographed with them!!
The truth is that millions of women are preoccupied with their body image not just in their youth but often more as they get older. Especially now! Never before have so many women wanted to look like their children’s “sisters”. NEVER before has there been such a global obsession with eternal youthfulness. The concept of ‘graceful ageing’ has been replaced by that of ‘never ageing’. Women of all ages are starving (or padding) themselves to fit into the perfect “sexy” outfit, to then take the perfect sexy selfie, that will only further feed another woman’s insecurities.
Please know that body image issues don’t just stop at the physical level. They lead to a slew of mental health issues like depression, low self-esteem and confidence, anxiety, and mood disorders. If you feel that your body image issues are interfering in your day-to-day life or in any way impacting the quality of your life, then it may be time to consider counselling to help you manage and overcome the same.