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What is Negative Body Image and How to Deal With It

How to Deal With a Negative Body Image
A negative body image is essentially a negative perspective about self-worth. This potent perception about ourselves can dangerously blind us about a happy and fulfilled life. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to transform this image into a positive one.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. ~ Steve Maraboli
Body image is defined as your perspective about yourself. Simply put, it means the way you look at yourself. For instance, every time we look in the mirror or ponder about our body being overweight, underweight, dark, fair, and so on and so forth, we are essentially defining our own body image. Often times, our conditioning about body images influences our own body image, outlining it as negative or positive.
How many times have you stopped in front of a mirror and looked to notice some imperfection about your body? How many times have you wished for softer skin, longer hair, a little more height, and other attributes that fit your idea of perfection? We are all quite sure this happens at least once a day. As we keep reminding ourselves of our negative points, over time, we build a negative body image. This can irretrievably damage self-confidence and launch a person into unfathomable depression. Many grapple with ways to get over their negative body image, come to terms with the reality, and find methods to deal with it. If you are one of them, here are a few ways to deal with a negative body image, and live with a satisfied sense of being.
Dealing With a Negative Body Image
Body Image: How is it Created?
None of us are born with a preconceived notion of our body image. As we grow, we learn about the functioning of our body and its cosmetic appeal. The external factors around us gradually start influencing the way we look at our own body. For instance, as children, we are coaxed to play sports and make our body stronger and fitter. As we get a little older, boys tend to retain the idea of strong (usually associated with masculinity), while girls adopt a more demure outlook. Cultural aspects of our community too influence the way we think about our looks. The color of our skin, eyes, and hair, largely depends on our genetic makeup. A slight difference in normally-accepted shades draws talk around, which further providing us fodder to build our body image. The biggest influence on our thinking is made by the media. Magazines, TV, films, and other forms of media make constant bombardment of certain types of body images. The famous case of young girls being influenced by unrealistic Barbie figures stands a testimony to this fact.

The moment we find ourselves differing from these criterion, we begin to criticize ourselves. And if this is not enough, people around us, for instance our parents, friends, and colleagues, also add to the negative body image that we are already conjuring up in our minds. As we keep observing the world around us, the comparisons fester our negative body images, making the situation extremely stressful to deal with. However, are you all that your body is? Not really! A personality that you build over the years, your achievements, the relations you have built, and the person who you've become define who you are.
Know What is Positive Body Image
For every person trying to deal with the impact of a negative body image, it is crucial to know the difference between a negative and a positive body image. A positive body image is the exact opposite of a negative one, obviously. Those who accept their body, feel confident in their skin, and are sure about the way they look, are known to have a positive body image. What matters beyond your looks is who you are on the inside. Physical traits such as how tall you are or how thin you are, do not define what kind of a person you can be. An important aspect of a positive body image is the ability in believing the challenges your body can take up and what it can accomplish. For instance, a self-assured person can take up a challenge of losing weight, becoming fitter, and living healthier, to change his/her perspective of a negative body image. A change of negative body image begins with accepting those imperfections, and accepting the challenge of turning them around.
Changing Negative to Positive
The transition of a negative thought about yourself to a positive one, is a tough thing. However, it isn't an impossible one. A change is imperative to eliminate the stress you are dealing with. You need to keep in mind that the body is not about how you look, but more importantly about how you feel. If you are unhappy with the way you look, here are a few things you can do:
Lose Weight
Woman in gym
A lot of people are unhappy with their weight. If you are one of them, this specifically applies to you. Being fat or obese might be visually unappealing to you, but it also leads to several medical conditions. And you surely do not want a host of medical problems to grip you. So, this time around, consult a dietician, join a gym, and make a resolve to get into the shape that you've desired for far too long. Making a serious lifestyle change will be quite an achievement, and this in turn will make you feel good about yourself. A starting point like this would be a great impetus in changing your negative body image.
Complete Makeover
Woman straightening frizzy hair
Sometimes, a makeover is all you need to revamp your attitude towards yourself. The mundane routine, the same old look, the drab styling, can make one feel uninterested and dull about life, in comparison to others. If this is the case, it is time you get a complete makeover done. A trendy haircut or brighter clothes and accessories, can add a streak of positivity towards your self-worth, as it also brings back the lost confidence.
Wardrobe Revamp
Woman choosing dress
We meet people at work, in school, at college, and at regular hangouts. We like the way certain people dress, and the moment we do, we begin comparing ourselves to them. Instead of comparing, it is time you clean out your closet and revamp your wardrobe. Sometimes, changing the way we dress can help in changing the way we think about ourselves.
Cosmetic Surgeries
Plastic surgery
Scars, burns, and other gashes on our exterior often become the epicenter of our own critique. Excessive criticism can ruin our body image for us. Thanks to advancement in the field of science, these can be removed easily. With plastic and laser surgeries, one can clear certain body parts of unwanted scars. Additionally, cosmetic surgery also helps in correcting a flaw in the body structure too.
The physical and mental changes about your body image have to be in tandem for the final result to be a positive one. Transforming your body image is not just about changing your look, but also about the way you think, and how far can you challenge your body to get the best for it!