As women, we all want to look and feel our best. This is not always easy, considering the busy life today’s woman leads and the many responsibilities she may have. It can be tough to find time for exercising and eating right, not to mention controlling stress! Developing and nurturing a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude is crucial to a woman’s happiness and wellness.
What is body image?
- How you perceive your physical appearance
- How you feel about your appearance
- How you feel about your body
- How you think others see you
A woman’s body image encompasses her physical appearance, size, and shape. Issues of body image are found everywhere, whether one is conscious of it or not. Our body image is formed out of every experience we have ever had – parents, role models, and peers who give us an idea of what it is like to love and value a body. Image is formed from the positive and the negative feedback from people whose opinions matter to us. It is also the way we ourselves have perceived our body to fit or not fit the cultural image.
With a positive body image, a person has a real perception of her size and shape and feels comfortable and proud about her body. With a negative body image, a person has a distorted perception of her shape and size, compares her body to others, and feels shame, awkwardness, and anxiety about her body. A woman’s dissatisfaction with her body affects how she thinks and feels about herself. A poor body image can lead to emotional distress, low self-esteem, dieting, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
As women move through the different stages of their lives, their perceptions and feelings about body image change. Women choose a variety of ways to meet their body image expectations. Building a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and physical activity is important. Cosmetic surgery is an increasingly popular way for women to enhance their appearance, but one that comes with risks.
And don´t forget your kids! The attitude of parents about appearance and diet affects their kids´ attitudes.