Body image for many women is a big deal and we all fixate on what we think is wrong with our bodies from time to time.
The media, fashion and advertising industries—particularly in the West have stamped unrealistic stereotypes on women as to what they should look like.
Consequently, many women believe that if they don’t fit into these impracticable stereotypes, they are not attractive.
This isn’t just unrealistic for the common woman to live up to, even models are unable to fulfill these impossible standards, needing expensive clothing, extreme makeup, and clever camera and airbrushing techniques to achieve the fantasy of perfection we see in magazines.
The sad reality of the media promoting female dissatisfaction will feed on our inadequacies and insecurities if we permit it. Accepting that we are all individually crafted by God is an important step to fighting off a negative body image.
In addition, avoiding the temptation to compare yourself to another woman will do you more good than harm, for example there is no point starving yourself with the target of looking like Victoria Beckham when you’ve got a completely different bone structure to hers because no diet or exercise in the world can make that happen.
The truth is, every woman has a unique body type and we need to learn to appreciate our own uniqueness and beauty.
This moves me to my next thought, who determines what the ideal body type is? After all several cultures consider the “fuller” woman to be the ideal shape while others in the west- as discussed above idealise the slimmer female figure.
In many African countries, if a young girl has returned home from Boarding School or University and has lost weight, her mother will put her on a fattening course and I am a bare witness of that! So the ideal body shape is subjective, to cultures and even individuals.
Many women are pleased with their bodies in several ways but at the same time may find it difficult accepting some things. Our bodies are amazing structures and are life givers too, so it’s important to take good care of ourselves by eating healthy and exercising. Instead of being dissatisfied or ashamed we should do our level best to counter negative influences and thoughts with positive images of what we love about our bodies.