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Body image

by Jack – 16th Mar 2020

Body image incorporates many factors and includes how you feel when you see or even think about your own body, what you might believe in terms of your own appearance, and how you might feel in your own skin.

For a a long time members within society of all ages, genders, and ethnicities have struggled with body image and have had a negative perception of their own body and appearance. With the rising use of technology and further involvement of social media platforms, it doesn’t come as a surprise that negative body image is becoming more of concern across the globe, the UK; within your own homes.

Unfortunately, negative body image is becoming more and more prevalent and starting at younger ages. Studies have shown that children as young as eight want thinner-than-average body sizes, and many 10-11 year olds are trying to control their weight, according to The Guardian.

hand-drawn sketch of man looking at himself in the mirror. The reflection doesn't look like him though and the text says 'is this me?'

This can often lead to some terrible repercussions which, at such a young age, simply should not be experienced. Consequences including mental health problems like eating disorders are just some of the vast issues caused by this and we, as a society, should be campaigning for more lessons within school to teach both young girls and boys about the benefits of a positive mindset to hopefully tackle these issues; as well as other problems like bullying. Mental health issues can aggravate negative body image, creating a notoriously harmful cycle that is difficult to escape from.

Luckily, with regular support it is possible to improve upon negative body image and prevent more severe mental health issues from developing in the future. The important thing is early identification. Knowing the signs that more support is needed and asking for help can be crucial. If your body image struggles have negatively impacted your life to the point that you are unable to carry out your life as you wish, this is a signal that should, under no circumstances, not be ignored.

Funky illustration of women of all shapes and sizes in their knickers and bras. They look relaxed.

Negative thoughts concerning your appearance or body image are unfortunately common and should not be disregarded. I find it best to confide in someone you can trust; always remember that there are likely many different factors that might be influencing why you feel poorly about yourself but being able to vocalise about it is the first step of many in terms of overcoming the issue. Trying to amend your perceived ‘flaws’ is not a means of healing negative body image. Be smart, be safe, speak up.

Information about eating disorders.

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