Accept Your Body. Accept Yourself.

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Accept Your Body. Accept Yourself.

Hadley Redmond, Co-Editor; Board Member

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What’s the first thought that comes to our head when we think of ourselves, or look in the mirror? Do we think that we may be too short, or too tall? Too skinny, or too fat? Are we ashamed of our bodies, or are we simply okay with them, and like how we appear? All of these things that we humans might think on a day to day basis, have one thing in common. They are all influenced by our world today, and affect our body images, one’s thoughts, perceptions, and attitudes about their physical appearance.

Not all people adopt a negative body image, though there are two types of ways that a person can see themselves in terms of body image. One of these ways is through a positive body image. In this case, the person is able to accept their natural body, and are comfortable and confident in their own skin.

The other way, is through a negative body image. In this case, a person may feel shame, anxiety, or self-conscious about themselves and maybe their body too. People who have a higher level of negative body image, or body dissatisfaction, may suffer from depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and isolation.

Concerns about your body image may begin as young as 6 years old. Most of these six-year olds are girls who start to become worrisome of their own weight or shape. Studies show that about 40% to 60% of elementary school girls around the ages of 6 to 12 start to become concerned about their physical appearance.

Almost over one half of teenage girls and about over one third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control methods such as refusing to eat/skipping meals, smoking, vomiting, and taking laxatives or different types of weight loss medicines.

Body image concerns can affect anyone of any age, gender, or race. While all people are at an equal risk for body images issues, there are usually different triggers between different genders. Girls feel often pressured to attain the body type or shape that their society or culture names as ideal (to be thin). On the other hand, boys can be pressured into trying to look/be lean and muscular.

It is important for us to continue to recognize that all bodies are good bodies, and to embrace body diversity in our world today. The key to having and keeping a positive body image, is to embrace and respect our natural size, shape, and etc., and to try overthrow those negative thoughts by replacing them with positive, loving, and accepting ones.

Love yourself, and love your body, because you are one awesome human being.