In case you didn't know this week is Mental Health Awareness Week with the focus topic being Body Image. A topic I am very passionate about and something that has effected me and many others I am sure. How many times a day do you think about how you look ? Do you pass judgement on yourself based on your body image ? Now having negative thoughts with regards to your body is quite common and isn't a mental health problem however it can be a risk factor with a variety of mental health issues with eating disorders being quite high up there.
The Mental Health Foundation conducted online surveys and found out that:
One in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year.
This in itself is shocking and upsetting and then I saw the next 2 results and is what I want to talk about today:
Just over one in five adults (22%) and 40% of teenagers said images on social media caused them to worry about their body image.
Just over one in five adults (21%) said images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image.
We live in a society where what we look like plays a big part in our day to day life. The diet culture mentality is still very much around with companies making profit from peoples insecurities. Most of which people probably didn't see as an insecurity until it was a thing on social media. This why I hate the terms flaws because I don't think we should see things as flaws - who decided they were such a thing ?! Hip Dips, love handles, cellulite all part of the human body and completely normal so why are we made to think other wise.
It is so easy to compare yourself to others these days as with a simple click of button you are privy to thousands of peoples highlight reels. But remember they are just that - a highlight reel, where people post their best bits, use good lighting angles etc and in no way is that a reflection on you or what you do/look like.
We need to change the narrative when it comes to body image. We need to stop the assumption that happiness is directly linked to a certain look/body type. We need to stop the assumption that health equals a certain weight/look. Most importantly we need to stop allowing the media to dictate that our body image equals our worth. How you view your body is for you and you alone and I am not going to tell you how to feel. But the moment that simple view you have of yourself begins to manifest into something more is the moment I would suggest looking for help. No one deserves to feel rubbish about the way they look and no one should ever be led to believe they are not worth it.
Let's change the way we speak about our own and other peoples bodies rather than picking out 'flaws' or saying negative things because we need to fit in lets show some kindness to our bodies.
If someone you follow on social media makes you feel less about yourself then unfollow them. If you constantly find yourself scrolling and comparing change up your feed by following positive accounts you connect with.
Take yourself away from the situation that is making you have these negative thoughts and try and do something for you.
Looking good and being proud of our bodies is something we are totally allowed to be. But it should be by our own standards not the medias and no one ever has the right to say anything negative about your body.
If you do feel like this is something that does affect you then please don't just take what I have said as enough, these are just my thoughts on the topic, seek out a professional to take further action.
Love Vicki xxx