Do you see a happy and healthy individual with a bright smile and wayward hair that, on second thoughts, you’re definitely going to have to brush today? Or do you see your flaws?
Your nose that’s too pointy, your lips that aren’t full enough, your flat chest and eyes that are never going to be as bright as those of celebrities in magazines?
If you answered yes to the second option rather than the first, then you are not alone.
Negative thoughts with regards to how you see yourself and your body image are, unfortunately, pretty normal.
However, it’s when these negative thoughts won’t leave you alone, when they consume you and your every action that societies preoccupation with body image leads to individuals developing health disorders such as body dismorphia, anorexia and bulimia, and it’s easier than you think to find yourself battling these illnesses.
So, how do we stop ourselves from developing these disorders in the first place, and what can we do to stop future generations buckling under the pressure of airbrushed models in magazines and the impossibly small mannequins that they see in shops?
Well, it’s important not to blame the media for everything.
Family and friends are often the most influential people in a young persons life and not the media, therefore it is important that if you are in charge of young people that you are aware of how you speak about your body and your relationship with food in front of them as your thoughts will influence how they see their own bodies.
By keeping talk about body image and food positive, it re-affirms a healthy outlook towards nutrition and what it means to eat healthily.
Also, if you are having distressing thoughts about your body image, it’s vital that you talk to a health professional about it.
You may not think anything of skipping a meal or two to lose a couple of pounds, but when this becomes obsessive, you need to be able to realise that that isn’t healthy.
Asking for help when you’ve developed an eating disorder is hard, particularly when you feel like there is nothing wrong with how you are eating, but sometimes asking for help is the only way to get you back on track and believing that you are beautiful and worthy and absolutely brilliant the way you are.