What a positive body-image can do to your self confidence and what self confidence can do to every area of your life like your career, love relationships, your relationship with your children etc. is unquestionable. And yet as early as the age of 13, 53% girls are unhappy with their bodies. And so many of us are afraid to gain weight. We spend a lot of time in the day preoccupied with thoughts relating to beauty or body shape in one way or the other.
But what if you had no body hate? What would your life be like? Can you even begin to imagine how loving your body will feel like? We recently came across this TEDx talk by Chen Lizra. Even though, in the video she speaks about seduction mostly, from 7:00 to 8:26 she talks about how Cubans don’t suffer from a negative body image like we do. The island country can be roughly about 90 miles off coast Key West, Florida but the cultural divide of Cuba and USA becomes apparent in what Chen says.
Thought provoking isn’t it? If we weren’t bombarded by so many commercials of products that profit on our body hate, how would life be? What would happen if no company could convince us that we need to “improve” our looks or we need to fit in a certain size to be deemed beautiful or fashionable. In our consumerist culture, it is impossible to imagine. But in one of the world’s 4 communist countries, it is a reality. If we leave aside the pros and cons of communism for a few minutes and try and take in the goodness of that aspect, maybe even you will agree that we can learn a thing or two from Cuba. Below are our three favorite things that we take away from the talk and want to share with all Wink n Pout users and readers, because we believe everybody is beautiful – right here right now.
Start early to build a positive body image: As kids we are very impressionable. Even more so than adults. So yes, it becomes important to tell your kid regardless of the gender that they are beautiful. But say those words often and with complete honesty. That little act can go a long way into inculcating a positive body image.
We learn from the environment: This holds true for everyone, child or adult. Suppose if a kid sees her mother feel good about her body, she re-enforces a positive body image in her as well. In a group of friends, if all of them sit together and ‘vent-out’ what they don’t love about their bodies, the feelings get transferred like a communicable disease. We start to think it is “natural” to hate something about our bodies and wanting to change it because everyone else does too. So, the next time you are going to indulge into some “harmless” body hating in front of anyone, remain aware of the kind of environment you are creating for others as well as yourself.
Be judgmental of the commercials: No matter how hard it is, you have got to work on this one for yourself, because you deserve better. Each time you flip a magazine, or watch a commercial, know that the images are processed. It is not the truth or even achievable for most of us. You have got to make that distinction in your head, and tell yourself that each time you catch yourself aspiring to a certain standard of beauty or body. You have to tell yourself that the brands make billions of dollars in profits by selling you products on aspiration and hence their vested interest lies in you hating your body. You may know that sub-consciously, but bring that to your consciousness.
What do you feel about the issue? Have any more tips or stories that you would like to share with us?
Feel free to comment or even write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org