Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Am I The Ugliest Of Them All

A kick in the ass is a step forward!

In this era of health and fitness enthusiasm, where we are surrounded by buzzwords like ‘pilates’, ‘keto’, ‘intermittent fasting’, and endless fad diets and workout regimes, there has come to the surface a very important concept that has got the world hooked to itself for all the right reasons- ‘body positivity’.

We have grown and evolved in a society that pays more attention to physical appearance, and has gone overboard in doing so now. This is quite evident from the innumerable cosmetic surgeries that we all can turn to, to change how the way we look to match the conventional beauty norms. As if this was just not enough, social media has also taken up the task to make our lives worse by adding fuel to this blazing fire we are engulfed in. These networks are full of awe-inspiring pictures and posts of ‘exquisite beauties’, which make ordinary people want to hide in shame. Isn’t it so? Coming across such stuff we all question our looks. But is that right? Obviously not. We are ‘individuals’, bequeathed with different personality attributes, physical features, and so on. But we humans have a tendency to overlook reality. And this tendency has given rise to ‘body-image issues’ worldwide.

All About Body-image

Now what is this nomenclature, ‘body-image’? Essentially, this term encompasses our emotions and attitudes about our physical attributes. In other words, one’s body-image is concerned with how an individual perceives himself in the mirror, the attitudes he holds towards himself regarding his appearance, and how he feels the world perceives him. It is vital for our overall well-being that our body-image is on point. However, we generally don’t have absolute control over our cognition. Our experiences in this world, and our interactions with our family, friends, peers, and others in the society play a vital role in forming our perception of ourselves. Accordingly, some individuals have a positive body-image, while others have a negative one.

Having a positive body-image means that an individual’s perception of himself is in line with reality. This individual knows how he looks, accepts his flaws, feels confident in his body, and most importantly does not judge his self-worth in terms of his physical appearance. It goes without saying that these individuals are well adjusted and contented in their life. Contrary to this, there are also those individuals who hold a negative body-image of themselves. Their perception about themselves is distorted; these individuals see such flaws in themselves that are essentially subtle. Subsequently, these individuals feel uncomfortable in their own body. To make things worse, they line their self-worth with their physical appearance, which eventually shatters their self-confidence and self-esteem. Naturally, such people can never be well adjusted and happy in true terms.

It makes sense how imperative it is for individuals to have a positive body-image. But, the apathy is that we live in a society that just doesn’t let us live. With the presence of a conventional beauty model, which is no less than a delusion, and which is being reinforced by social media, newspapers, magazines, movies, daily soaps, etc, we feel under constant pressure of being scrutinized for our skin, size, shape, height, weight, facial features, and what not. Although people have been enlightened about the need for body positivity, we are still a long way to go to get rid of standardized beauty in absolute terms.

Why Be Bothered By Negative Body-image?

Having a negative body image does more damage to an individual than we can think of. It won’t be wrong to say that these people are under constant agony, and they have a reason for that, which justifies why they need to be empathized and assisted. The distortions in their perception of self-did not just occur out of the blue. They were, perhaps, talked down to, abused for their looks, teased, bullied, mocked, and that too not necessarily just once but may be multiple times. Needless to say, it can be traumatizing, and therefore requires careful intervention, to help the individual be able to live a happy life directed towards self-love and self-worth.

You might question the validity of this statement, that such people require professional help. I mean it’s just a minor issue, right! You can explain it to them that they are beautiful, not flawless, but acceptable. And overtime they will emerge out of that irrational complex. How I wish things were that simple. As mentioned before, there is precisely an underlying problem that needs to be dealt with, with patience, perseverance, and most importantly with sophistication. Therefore, it is always best to approach a professional who has the right kind of compassion required to do the job.

By any means if such people are left to be on their own, the situation can get worse. People with a distorted body-image are vulnerable to acquire a range of other psychological and emotional problems:-

Shame,

Guilt,

Worthlessness, 

Distress,

Such people are prone to cut-off all links from the society completely,

They are susceptible to depression

They may acquire anxiety disorders,

They may turn to substance abuse,

People with a negative body-image also seem to acquire eating disorders,

There are never ending all conflicts in relationships,

Quality of life is, obviously, affected.

As made apparent by the above mentioned points, negative body-image can complete break down the normal functioning of a human being. In the worst case scenario, the person suffering may go on to develop BDD- Body Dysmorphic Disorder- an extremely serious condition whereby an individual perceives a flaw in his physical appearance, which others do not see, and  which preoccupies his mind completely, making him feel ugly, disgusted, embarrassed, eventually stripping him of self-confidence and self-worth. Such individuals go to any extend to get rid of their perceived flaw, and are very likely to indulge in self-harming behaviour. In some cases, the individual also turns suicidal.

Isn’t it surprising how little experiences can play a major role in shaping how we perceive ourselves and this world? We never realize when a tiny-little, unpleasant incident occupies the whole of our heart and creates troubles for us. Therefore, it is always better to get such misconceptions and cognitions that we form, unknowingly, to be corrected at the earliest, that hinder our progress and devoid us of self-love.

Do you, my friend, feel that you are unable to love yourself? Do you feel sad looking at yourself in the mirror? Do you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, and awkward the way your body moves? Are you embarrassed of yourself? Or do you know someone who feels thus? Worry not! Therapy 1on1 has got your back. Consult our compassionate professionals now. Choose your health! Choose your happiness! Choose Therapy 1on1! We strive for your health! We strive for your happiness! Coz your life is definitely worth it.