Body image – inside out

Everyday we bring some sort of focus to our body. We live in this body and it is important to look after it. We dress it, feed it, care for it, put it to bed each night, take it to work, walk it, work it… and generally we either give it enough attention to do what we need to do, or we give it some extra care.

While body image for some does not appear to matter, to the point they can be neglectful of how they look, for others it may become an obsession. Yet are these two apparently opposing relationships with our body really much different i.e., either the giving up on oneself or in trying to become something more. Both suggesting dissatisfaction with the way we are. And with this dissatisfaction, changes may be made to the outer image in the hope it will quell the unease of not feeling enough, as we are. The inner picture or perception of one’s outer appearance may not even match the reality at all.

In the name of supposed health, we may follow the latest diet trends of which there are many and varied, OR we may achieve a particular look that is fashionable, including keeping with the current trends we are seeing of an increase in body altering fads including cosmetic enhancements – for example bigger lips, butts and breasts for women, bigger muscles and implants for men. There are now even reality TV programs following the surgeries and changes people make to perfect a certain look. It becomes clear, watching these shows, that often the way we perceive ourselves has nothing to do with the reality of how we actually look, and is contradictory to how others may see us as well.

An example of this mismatch showed one man looking at his reflection in the mirror and seeing himself as not very muscular, when in fact he was excessively muscular. His days were spent working out in the gym and pushing himself to the limit to achieve a result which was impossible to reach given that what he saw in the mirror was not the reality to begin with.

Why and when did this dissatisfaction with our outer appearance (covering) arise is an interesting question to consider.

Who and what are we actually comparing our body image with?

Having a healthy body image is touted as the counter to many of the so called ‘issues’, the niggling ‘not up to scratch’ thoughts that we are fed. But where do these thoughts come from, and who decides what is or is not acceptable? … Our own perception and compliance to an image? A picture of what is fed to us as being ‘attractive’ or desirous?

And is the ‘healthy body image’ idea or ideal just adding another layer to the problem of distorted perception, therefore fixing nothing at all?

The rise and wave of Instagram following, along with the unrealistic images posted endlessly both in print and in other online platforms is known to be fueling and contributing to body dissatisfaction. That is only if one begins to compare oneself against a preferred projected image.

There is more to us than simply having a functioning physical body, there is great purpose we bring when at one with our inner essence – embodied.

With the over focus on body image have we overlooked the inner being, the one that enlivens the form.

It is the disconnection from our inner being (essence) that has us distracted and focused on the outer.

Our body is the housing of the soul while we are here on earth. It is like a garment that we don when we come into this world and will all eventually come to discard. Yet while here it serves a purpose in representing a unique angle of heaven, in every curve, feature and expression that it reflects …

It doesn’t require a particular look, shape or size yet there is a quality that is communicated through the form – from within – that in truth shapes us.

Through the connection to and honouring of our body, we begin to feel what the body truly needs to support what it is designed to be/do. The communication comes from the inside out. Our body lets us know the more we listen, the messages becoming more loud and clear.

It is then not the head instructing the movements, nor is it the outer impositions telling us how to look to meet the marketed ideal, rather it is the movement of loving care and honouring that precedes every movement that follows. A movement that is aligned to the quality of the soul that shapes the form for what it is to represent.

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Body imageConnectionEssenceHealthSoulTruth

  • By Victoria Picone

    A forever student of life and the grand universe we are a part of. I am a woman who is dedicated to true health and wellbeing, from the inside out. I love the ever-unfolding nature of life, the people in it, and nature’s beauty… reflecting our own.

  • Photography: Steve Matson, Electrical Engineer, Chef, Photographer, Forklift operator and student of life.

    I am someone that looks at something that is complicated and sees the simplicity behind it. Life needs to be fun and lived. Making mistakes is an important part of this process.