Body Image: Why We're So Hard on Ourselves

Updated: Sep 10

Our perception of our bodies can play an enormous role in determining how happy we are, both in the present and into the future. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people and feeling like you’re lacking, your life will suffer because of it. Start working on improving your body image today with these ideas that will have you feeling more confident about yourself by the end of this article!

Body Image: Why We're So Hard on Ourselves

The problem with comparing yourself to others

We are prone to compare ourselves to others. And in today's social media-obsessed world, it's easier than ever to do. But constantly comparing ourselves to others is a dangerous game.

This is not always healthy because it may lead to feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and low self-esteem.

What we need to remember is that everyone has their own flaws. In other words, no one has the perfect body or life and there is room for all types of people.

It takes courage to find the things you love about yourself instead of focusing on what you dislike.

It's important to build up your self-esteem and love yourself for who you are, not what society says you should be.

The way you look doesn't define who you are, so stop wasting time feeling inadequate when someone else might just have an hourglass figure while you have a skinny waist.

Why we compare ourselves

Why we compare ourselves

Why do we compare ourselves to others? It's a question that plagues many of us, especially when it comes to our bodies. We see someone who is thinner/fitter/more toned than us and immediately feel inadequate.

Or, we see someone whose body type is similar to ours and compare ourselves unfavorably to them.

Either way, it's a lose-lose situation. The first leads to feeling bad about yourself, while the second can lead to self-destructive behavior like cutting or disordered eating.

The real reason we're so hard on ourselves is because most people don't know how they really look; they only have one perspective - their own!

In reality, everyone has flaws and no one looks perfect in every single outfit they wear or under every light condition.

How we can fix it

How we can fix it

Our society is full of messages that tell us we need to look a certain way in order to be accepted. Consequently, many of us feel bad about our bodies. But it doesn't have to be this way!

Here are seven things we can do to start feeling better about ourselves and stop the cycle of body shaming.

We can educate ourselves about the societal influences that make us feel like our bodies aren't good enough and work hard to change them.

We can learn more about why we compare ourselves to others and how this hurts more than helps.

We can practice self-compassion and self-love instead of putting pressure on ourselves to fix everything wrong with our bodies or starve or diet until they meet an unattainable standard.

We can get involved in the body positivity movement by following body positive bloggers or artists and taking part in their campaigns

We can take care of our mental health by finding ways to manage stress and anxiety.

We can start looking for beauty beyond looks.

We can use the power of media literacy skills to deconstruct images that are intended to shame people for not meeting beauty standards set by corporations.

We can find inspiration in places other than celebrities magazines and try new things outside our comfort zone, even if those activities might seem silly or embarrassing at first.

How we should treat ourselves

How we should treat ourselves

It's time to stop being so hard on ourselves when it comes to body image. We are our own worst critics, and it's time to start changing the way we think about our bodies.

Here are six ways to start treating ourselves with a little more kindness and respect:

1) Stop talking down to yourself.

2) Remember your worth is not defined by your size or weight or shape.

3) Talk kindly about yourself in front of others - this will teach them how to talk about you too!

4) Tell someone who makes you feel good that they make you feel good.

5) Use self-compassion practices like self-soothing before bedtime - try visualizing your body as healthy and whole as you drift off into sleep.

6) Make sure you are wearing clothes that make you feel beautiful! What does that mean for you? Dresses? Denim? Jeans? Sweaters? Whatever it is, go for it!

How we should talk to ourselves

How we should talk to ourselves

The first step is acknowledging that we're not perfect and that's okay. We all have different bodies, different features, and different sizes. It's time to start being more accepting of ourselves the way we are.

Second, we need to start talking to ourselves in a more positive light. Instead of picking ourselves apart and finding flaws, let's focus on our good qualities. Everyone has something they can be proud of.

Third, instead of comparing ourselves to others, let's focus on being the best version of ourselves.

Fourth, let's start practicing self-care. Essentially, these behaviors include eating a nutritious diet, sleeping enough, and working out. In taking care of our bodies, we nurture a healthy body image.

How society pushes us towards comparison

How society pushes us towards comparison

From the time we're young, we're bombarded with messages about how we should look. From commercials to TV shows to magazines, it's everywhere.

And it's not just women who are affected by these unrealistic standards- men are too. Society tells us that we have to be thin and toned and perfect.

But the truth is, there's no such thing as perfect. Everyone is different and unique in their own way. So why are we so hard on ourselves?

Body image is something that everyone struggles with at some point in their lives. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can learn to love our bodies just the way they are.

One great way to do this is by making a list of all the things you like about yourself. Once you start paying attention to what makes you special, you'll realize that you don't need any of those other factors for happiness.

What you can do today

What you can do today

1. Talk to a friend or family member about how you're feeling. It can be really helpful to talk to someone who loves and supports you.

2. Make a list of things you like about yourself. Include things that have nothing to do with your appearance.

3. Take some time for yourself – do something that makes you happy, without worrying about how you look.

4. When you see images that make you feel bad about yourself, try to remember that they don't represent reality. Airbrushing and Photoshop are common in the media, so don't compare yourself to these unrealistic standards. Most people wouldn't want to live up to those expectations! Remember that there is no perfect body type. The most important thing is taking care of your health by eating right and exercising regularly.

5) Remember that there is no perfect body type – everyone has their own unique beauty!

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