Body image is the way we perceive our physical appearance and what we believe other people see. Poor body image is one of the biggest issues that women and even men are facing. It has skyrocketed in the fast few years due to the rise of photo editing and social media. People are now prone to having a distorted body image. Believing that unrealistic body is the goal and not looking a certain way doesn’t make you attractive. This can happen in a very young age and can develop into chronic low self-esteem and other serious disorder. We need to understand how to deal with poor body image and reduce self-criticism. Basic understanding of how poor body image develops and learning how to get rid of them is essential for a positive mindset. These tips will be helpful to learn when you have younger siblings or children.

Labels Do Not Define You

Since we were young we were trained to accept labels. We attach these labels to our physical appearance and perception of our body image. It may come from a positive place in the beginning, but in the long run these labels become co-related to something negative. Being called a chubby, pretty or skinny kid throughout your childhood can put you into a self-defining box. This can be cruel to oneself and can continue through adulthood. We have managed to ingrain the idea that labels such as Fat, skinny, lanky, athletic, etc. = bad, ugly, not normal.  These labels do not define you and should not be perceived the way it is. Looking at it at more positive light can instantly change the way you think. If it is too hard to do it on yourself, start with others. Looking at other people’s traits or “labels” and not seeing it as a negative characteristic will train you to think more positively.

Never Compare Yourself

Comparing yourself to others is one of the most self-destructive things you can do to yourself. From people on TV to your close friends. Comparing yourself to anyone and finding something that makes you feel bad about yourself will benefit no one. You have to understand that people that you see in ads, magazines, TV and movies are put into a pedestal of society’s standard. They are forced and most of the time unhappy to conform to this standard. They are heavily berated for their little imperfection causing them to try to achieve an unrealistic standard of beauty and this is a huge part that we the public are unable to see. Comparing yourself to someone that has been heavily edited or altered will only cause negative body image. This also goes to the people around you. Why am I not as tall as her? Why is he buffer than me? Why can’t I be as thin as her? The simple answer is that you are not him/her. If you have certain body insecurities, the person you are insecure about has insecurities of their own. Comparing yourself to them will do absolutely nothing, but cause unwanted hate. This can even cause a riff in your relationship that you are unaware of. So, the moment you even start comparing yourself – snap out of it!

Let the Hypes Go

Forget following anything that is in or a current fad. It does not matter if it is a new diet, new beauty procedures and body part hypes. People who constantly follow hypes are more likely to develop a negative body image. People that follow different types of diet increases their risk of eating disorders. A few years back the in thing was a thin frame, now it is voluptuous. Hypes are always changing, trying to conform to it can lead to different problems such as body dysmorphia, low chronic self-esteem and so on. It is easier to say let it go than to actually do, especially when it is plastered almost everywhere. But, knowing that hypes come and go – and loving what you are will put you in a much better place mentally and physically.

Be Realistic About Body Image

Put everything into perspective. Instead of obsessing about something about your physical appearance, why not focus your attention to what makes you – you. Your hobbies, your friends, your passions, education and so on. This will teach you that there is more to you than just what you see in the mirror. This can also help you become more realistic about your body image. Accepting that you are much more than your appearance and accepting that you are born the way you are will help you in the long run. We are made of our parent’s genetics, wishing to look someone else won’t change that.

If you have ever felt unattractive or seen yourself in a negative light believing that you do not portray society’s belief of what is normal. You are not the only one. Most of us have looked at ourselves and wished we could change it. Poor body image is an all-time high today. An important thing you have to know is that there really is no standard. Beating yourself up for not being able to conform will only cause you agony. See yourself for who you really are and learn to love and accept yourself no matter what.