Why do we have such poor body image?

Who tells us what we should be like?

We are taught to feel bad about ourselves from a young age when we do not fit the perfect body image – on television there are the perfect families; in the movies the prettiest young girls and the most handsome young men; in magazines there are bodies that can wear any clothes of any shape and look great.

As we grow up we face an unconscious comparison that we are not like that. We are sold an ideal weight, an ideal body shape and an ideal body image. On TV, the plain character or the overweight friend is always marginalised – socially tolerated, never embraced fully by his or her peers, painted as the ‘nerd’.

What does this tell us about who we are?

How do we view ourselves when this is what we have been surrounded by?

We live in an age saturated with images of the perfect body. To our own detriment, we compare ourselves to these increasingly photo-shopped, unreal benchmarks. The beauty and fashion industry, and even the health industry, constantly present in words and pictures the sort of looks and body which make the grade. When we fall short we become ashamed of our own body and desperate to change it.

With poor body image comes the willingness to change our body at any cost.

"What you see in the mirror is always what you have felt first."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 272

The diet industry offers the false promise of the perfect body and celebrities advocate plastic surgery as a solution to imagined imperfections. If you consider that most celebrities were viewed as perfect before the facelift or breast augmentation, how is it that they are somehow made ‘more perfect’ by the next cosmetic lift? All this feeds the idea that there is a perfect body image that we should all be pursuing.

Instead of noticing that our poor body image is a manufactured problem and considering the possibility that the issue is not one about our body at all, but how we feel about ourselves, we choose to believe the promise that dieting offers, or dream of the make-over, including plastic surgery.

In this way we reject ourselves instead of building a true relationship based on caring for our body from love, enjoying who we are and letting our true weight, our own smile and imperfections be what we treasure and share.

In these articles and stories you can see that there is a way to build a new relationship with our body – one that is based on how we feel from within, rather than one based upon the impossible comparisons we are constantly saturated with and the unreal versions of body image we can never attain, despite the level of will power, money or time invested.

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Self-worthBody imageConfidence

  • By Adrienne Hutchins

    I’ve always been interested in understanding the underlying cause and effect behind what we experience in life and for this the heart is the greatest teacher any student could have.

  • By Alison Greig, BA LLB(Hons), LLM(Hons, Grad Dip Psych, EPA Accredited Practitioner.

    Alison is a writer, life coach and a passionate advocate for true freedom of expression. Her legal and philosophical interests include regulation of cyber-abuse and cyber-crime, health care, freedom of religion and human rights.