This week is mental health awareness week in the UK. The theme this year is ‘body image’ and whether you’re a man or a woman, young or old, at some point in your life I’m sure you’ll have doubted yourself. Disliked something about your reflection or compared yourself to others. Whilst this is normal in this day and age with social media and the representation of celebrities, it shouldn’t ever make you feel inadequate. Here’s why,
- We are our own biggest critics – that blemish on your face or hair out of place won’t even be noticed by 99% of the people you meet but you will see it because it’s on you. You can stand in the mirror and pick yourself apart and critic all you want but the problems you think you have, really, are no big deal. If you’re having a bad hair day or you think your t-shirt is clinging to you showing off lumps and bumps, you’d rather hide, just pause and think. When you walk in a busy place do you notice these things about other people? Not really. Be kinder to yourself!
- Social media isn’t a realistic representation – next time you logon to Instagram or scroll through Facebook looking at the beautiful airbrushed celebrities with their perfect summer bodies and glowing skin remember, they did not look like that when they jumped out of bed. Neither would they if they worked a general 9-5. They have teams of make-up artists, personal trainers, hairdressers and assistants to pick out their clothes. We could all look Hollywood ready with a glam team in the wings ready to get you ready every day! We’ve all seen the photoshop scandals in newspapers shouting at celebrities for editing their images so most of the time the images you see aren’t even the real person any way. Snapchat and Instagram along with 100+ other apps also have filters to make you look ‘more attractive’ and a lot of us are guilty of using to get a great photo with our friends so don’t stress!! People portray a version of themselves on social media, but it is not real.
- There is only one you – that’s your power! There is only one you and only you can create that person. If your happy being blonde, brunette, slim, muscly, funny, kind, giving; it’s up to you. You may think someone else is more attractive but are they funny like you? You may think someone else has better features but are they kind like you? Looks aren’t everything and even if they were there is no single ‘look’ that is everyone’s cup of tea! Don’t fall into trying to be something you’re not. You can be whoever you want to be. Be someone’s glass of wine! It sounds much more fun.
- You deserve a break – if you find that you’re getting yourself down about your body image push yourself to have a break from your worries. Go and see friends, relax, have fun! Spend time with the people that love you, they always have a way of making you see the good in yourself and if they can see it; so, should you!
With the statistics showing so many people have had problems at some point with body image think of the people around you. Your sister/brother, best friend, colleagues at work; do you think there is anything wrong with them? Generally, no, so why think it about yourself?
What’s your favourite thing about yourself? Your smile? Your eyes? Nobody else has that. It’s yours and yours alone and someone could be looking at you right now envying that feature you never know! So be body kind. Tell your partner they look great in that new outfit, compliment your friends if they try a new hair style! Let’s lead by example and teach our kids who’ll teach their kids that its ok not to look like someone else, your you. Be the best version of that!