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How does today’s media affect body image?

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

We live in a world full of advertisements. It’s a little strange but when you think about it, advertisements show a perfect happier life – showing the opposite wouldn’t appease to many people right?

The adverts that really get you are those lifestyle images with the perfect looking people as the focus with their perfect style and makeup (aka photoshopped) Let’s be honest, we all look at these and compare ourselves. But why? Not even the models look like them!

Body image is the way we perceive ourselves when we look in the mirror.

Some of us have a positive body image whereby we are attuned to the reality of our shape and size. We understand our weight, the forms of our body and the way it moves and functions. But this person is few and far between.

Poor body image is when someone experiences a disconnect between their body image and the reality of their shape and size. The larger the gap, the more likely the struggle with a negative body image. This can affect behaviour and have serious impacts on social interaction and feelings of security and happiness.

People who suffer with poor body image issues often obsess with their body. This obsession can lead to serious health issues like eating disorders and depression.

Both men and women can experience negative body image problems, but it is more likely a woman who will admit negative self-perception.

So why are women so unhappy with their appearances? How can we stop speaking so negatively to ourselves and become more confident in our own skin.

Here we share some tips on ways to build a more positive and realistic body image.

  1. Remove yourself from social media. This is easier said than done we know but limiting your exposure to advertisements and exploitative posts can help boost positivity in your body image. Seek positive outlets for inspiration to

enrich your life and learn to spread positive message to others. Start researching instead – read more articles, blogs and books rather than exposing yourself to adverts.

  1. Talk positively about yourself. This means speaking to ourselves using positive and active words that describe how we feel, how we look, and what we are doing. When looking in the mirror, instead of focusing on the parts of your body you don’t like, focus on those parts you love about yourself. This can boost your self-confidence and help interact without feeling stigmatized by our insecurities.

  2. Share your feelings with others. Talk to your friends and family or seek professional help if your self-esteem gets low.

For some people, good body image does come naturally. For others, good body image requires work and a serious conscious effort. Sometimes it requires therapy with a good psychologist, an effort changing your habits towards your body, awareness and education on the media, and strategies to increase your resilience and improve your relationship with your body.

At CWC QLD, our team of psychologists are passionate about helping individuals gain an insight into their poor body image and work towards acceptance and positive behaviours. If you feel you need assistance, please contact us

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