No, we’re not talking a long-awaited sequel to the film that introduced us all to Heath Ledger. Instead, we’re confronting some of the biggest issues we all have with ourselves. Body image is an issue that many people face. “Body image, the way you feel about your personal appearance, is linked to self-esteem,” said Mary Hartley, R.D. “The satisfaction you have with your body is based on the satisfaction you have with yourself.”
We want everyone to feel satisfied with themselves, so it’s time to quit the hate-speech and make peace with our bodies. Sure, you may not love everything about yourself, but that doesn’t have to prevent you from doing something about it. Here are our top ten beefs with our bodies and what we can do about them.
Jiggly Arms – If your arms make you self-conscious, you aren’t alone. To make your arms less jiggly, add triceps dips to your daily routine. By doing a few reps every day, your flapping arms will soon be nothing but a not-so-fond memory.
Lack of Energy – At one time or another, all of us feel completely devoid of energy. Combat this by making sure you are getting enough restful sleep. It may seem impossible to fit sleep into your busy schedule, but doing so impacts your overall energy levels and your ability to accomplish everything in your day.
Dull Skin – Do you feel like your skin is beginning to look a little zombie like? If so, make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Staying hydrated does wonders for the complexion. Add some of the best foods for healthy skin to your diet, too, like fresh fruit, Brazil nuts, tuna, and avocados. (more…)
If you’ve ever heard Michael Jackson’s song ‘Man in the Mirror’ you might think it’s all about activism and politicking. With lyrics like, “If you want to make the world a better place then look at yourself and make a change,” anyone would raise an eyebrow to the defying characteristic of righteous action this song exudes.
Three years ago, after the news of Jackson’s passing, I played this song on my iPod as a way to honor the late, great, king of pop. Even though I was only a minimal fan at best, I still needed to have my own sense of closure, however trivial it was. The song I chose to memorialize Jackson with (in my own mind) was one of my favorites, yet I realized that I hadn’t actually paid that close attention to the lyrics. Sure, I heard the mantra, “Make that change,” ring over and over again, but it hadn’t hit home until that day.
Reclining in my luxurious overstuffed loveseat with a full bowl of popcorn in my lap I heard, “I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love. It’s time that I realize that there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan. Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?” How did I ever miss that? Was it because I was jaded by the 80’s-era of Madonna and Michael Jackson pop-infused dance floor accessory successes, or was it because so often we choose to tune out that which we think has little or nothing to do with us? (more…)
When you think bikini model, what kinds of images typically come to mind? Tall, rail-thin, leggy females wearing barely-there suits without a flaw in sight? Well that may be the case, perhaps it’s because those are the the only images the fashion and beauty industries put in front of our culture’s eye. And as a result, it’s what we’ve come to accept.
But 25-year-old Gabi Gregg, a plus-size fashion blogger living in New York, is hoping to break that stereotype. She’s promoting a message of self love, and believes that being happy with your body shouldn’t depend on what shape or size you are.
And in a whirlwind of support, people are getting behind this message with more enthusiasm than Gregg ever expected.
The controversy started when the fashion blogger posted a photo of herself on her blog GabiFresh, looking curvy and feminine in a high-waisted, two-piece bikini. In addition to posting her own photo, Gregg also encouraged other plus-sized girls to send in photos of themselves in bikinis to prove that beauty doesn’t come in just one size. (more…)
Heavier set African American women are found to be happier with their bodies than thinner and average sized Caucasian women. The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted the survey. They interviewed 800 women from all across the country in order to get a well rounded survey group. The results showed that 66% of overweight or even obese black women had high self-esteem. In contrast, only 41% of thin or skinny white women were found to have high self esteem.
Some of the other details of the survey included the fact that 90% of African American women think living a healthy lifestyle is more important than religion, career, or marriage. However, two-thirds of these same women reported eating fast food at least once a week and only half reported eating dinner at home on a regular basis.
It is more than just how you look that can impact how you feel about yourself, your self-esteem. It can also be how you think that can determine how you assess your self-worth. I don’t mean whether or not you are a brainiac, though. Our thoughts powerfully influence our emotions. In fact, how we assess any given situation determines how we feel and often how we behave. Because thoughts are so important and powerful, psychologists have classified errors in thinking that can cause difficulty or distress for individuals. One of these errors is “all or nothing thinking.”
One example of all or nothing thinking is believing that because you are overweight you are not a valuable or lovable person. Not only does this belief lead to sadness and emotional distress, but it ignores all the other attributes that a person possesses. Beauty is fleeting, and generally not as important as intelligence, kindness, ambition, or humor. What characteristics do you most value in a friend, romantic partner, or family member? Do you recognizable those traits in yourself? Do you find yourself focusing on the single part of yourself with which you are not happy?