DR JANKHANA HAKANI
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
We all have some image about ourselves in our mind. We all know how we feel and
think about our body. It is usually mixed with both positive and negative
thoughts and feelings. Many times one feeling is more than the other.Â
There are some things we like about ourselves and some things we donâ€™t and wish
it was a little different. This is called â€˜Body Imageâ€™. It is our own
thoughts and feelings. However, it is also influenced by external factors like
people around us, social media, societal norms and acceptance and peer
Â The 4 aspects of Body Image-
1.Â Â Â Â PERCEPTION- The way you see
It is the way you think about how you look. It may not be a true
representation of what your body actually looks like. For Example- You may think
you are fat but in reality, you may be underweight.
2.Â Â Â Â AFFECTIVE- How you feel about
the way you look.
Do you like or dislike the way you look? Whether you are satisfied
and content or dissatisfied with the way you look, with your body shape, size,
weight, different body parts?
3.Â Â Â Â COGNITIVE-Â The thoughts
about your body.
The way you think about your body is your cognitive body image. For
example, someone may think that they will feel better if they are thin and
someone may think that they will feel better if they become more muscular.
4.Â Â Â Â BEHAVIORAL- The things you do
in relation to the way you look.
The way you behave and the behaviors in which you engage as per
your body image is your Behavioral Body Image. For Example- When you feel you are
fat, you want to become thin, you might exercise a lot and have disordered
eating patterns. Or if you donâ€™t like the way you look you may avoid going out
or donâ€™t buy new clothes.Â
POSITIVE BODY IMAGE
accepting and appreciating the whole
of oneâ€™s body, including how it looks and what it can do
having a broad concept of beauty
having a body image that is stable
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE
feeling uncomfortable or awkward in
feeling ashamed or embarrassed about
the body shape/size/ weight/etc
comparing themselves with others and
feel inadequate when doing so
lacking self- esteem and self
see parts of their body, such as their
nose, in a distorted way
What Causes Negative
1.Â Â Â Â Media- TV, Magazines,
Social Media- Like Instagram, Facebook, etc create a picture perfect and
flawless body image which is far from reality. This causes a vast difference
between expectation and reality and creates an unachievable and unattainable
â€œideal bodyâ€. This comparison results in low self- esteem and negative body
image, especially in teenage girls.
2.Â Â Â Â Fashion Industry- create unhealthy
body image by employing under weight models for displaying their products,
thus, subtly implying and stressing on beauty being thin.
3.Â Â Â Â Peer pressure- on being thin, to
exercise and to go on diets.
4.Â Â Â Â Societal norms- of being slim and
fit to be beautiful.
5.Â Â Â Â Cultural and ethnic differences- a tendency to
judge and make fun of people who are overweight and having a larger body size/
long nose/ big ears/ fat lips/ unibrow, etc.
6.Â Â Â Â Appearance teasingÂ - people who
are teased for their appearance, especially weight, regardless of actual
appearance or weight, are at a greater risk of developing negative body
7.Â Â Â Â Personality Traits- like high
achievers, give high value to beauty ideals and appearances, having
perfectionistic traits, those who tend to compare themselves to others, are at
higher risk for negative body image.
8.Â Â Â Â FemalesÂ are more prone
to body image dissatisfaction than males, though this scenario is changing in
HOW TO ACHIEVE
POSITIVE BODY IMAGE?
Positive body Image means Healthy Body
Image, and this meansÂ you feel comfortable in your body and
you feel good about the way you look.
1.Â Â Â Â Associate with positive people- Surround yourself
with positive people, who do not put you down, who do not tease you or taunt
you, and especially appreciate you for your talents and like you as a person.
2.Â Â Â Â Put up current pictures of yourself- These help you see
how you look now.
3.Â Â Â Â Replace Negative Thoughts with
Positive ones- Anytime you have a negative thought about your body, replace it
with a thought about the part of your body that you like.Â Eg- I have huge
thighs, replace them with- I have strong thighs, or I look good is A line
skirt, or I have a good height, etc.
4.Â Â Â Â Wear Clothes that suit your body type- Wear clothes that
will compliment your body and make you feel good. Do not try to fit into
clothes just because it looks good on a celebrity/ influencer/ a friend/
family. Each body type is different. What looks good on you, may not look good
on someone else.
5.Â Â Â Â Focus on non- beauty aspects of
exercisingÂ -Â like, how much better you feel or how much your strength/
endurance and how rejuvenated you feel.
6.Â Â Â Â Pamper your body-Â with massage/ warm
water bath, apply body lotions, enjoy a steam and spa, etc.
7.Â Â Â Â Make a list of things you love about
yourself-Â that does not include body appearance. Eg- kindness, avid
reader, good swimmer, compassionate, poet, good cook, good listener, eloquent,
etc. Keep adding to this list as and when you remember more positives about
8.Â Â Â Â Do not compare yourself to others-Â What is good
for others may not be good or feasible for you.
9.Â Â Â Â Be kind to yourself-Â Do not be too
critical or harsh at judging yourself. Be accepting and accepting to your own
10.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Get support-Â if all fails
and you are still struggling with Negative Body Image, ask for help from a
â€œMy smile is my favourite part
of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body. I want women to know that
itâ€™s ok. That you can be whatever size you are and be beautiful inside and out.â€
In words of Oprah Winfrey-
â€œThis is a call to arms. A call
to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you
look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says youâ€™re too fat
or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too
big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops
away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the
first step toward transforming your experience of the world.â€