How My Body Image Affects My Self-Confidence And The Advantages of Air-Brushing.
Kaylee always wore long sleeves and no matter how hot the day was, she was never seen without them. She seemed well-balanced and although she wasn’t super pretty, she had a lot of good friends; no guys in sight for her yet but she had plenty of life ahead of her. She had a great personality and was set to do well in life.
But she had a secret she had been able to hide from everyone. The long sleeves were for a reason and one day Janice worked it out. She kicked herself for being so slow to catch on but she also had the sense to speak up and find out if her guess was right. Initially Kaylee was deeply offended at the accusation and she got very upset but Janice wouldn’t back down until Kaylee bared her arms. There was no way Kaylee was going to do that and no way that Janice would back down until she did. A long time passed before Kaylee finally gave in and the truth was revealed; her arms bore all the scars from her self-inflicted cuts.
It all begins with how we see ourselves and we work that out by what people say about us and how they react to us. Most of us go through phases in our lives when we detest something about ourselves and it usually turns out to be something we can’t change.
If we don’t handle it right, it turns into self-hatred and self-rejection. In serious cases it surfaces in such things as self-mutilation and substance abuse. We can never afford to ignore behavior like that.
But saying to ourselves, “I won’t do that again!” doesn’t work and we are soon back in the old vicious cycle. It’s a habit which is driven by our struggle with self-acceptance.
Our body image is a big player in our self-esteem; bigger than we care to admit and it can influence every part of our relationships and our world-view. Advertisers know this when they show us how their product (despite its health risks and the fact that it causes gross mutations . . .) will change the way we look – we will be able to act with total confidence after we buy their solution. It all seems so easy until we realize it’s just a patch that won’t fix anything.
If we’ve always been the jock or the cheerleader type we need to realize that our reputation for confidence (deserved or not) will open many doors but our vanity will close even more. We will find it hard to build relationships which have any real depth since other guys will feel unable or unwilling to compete and will hold back while the competing girls get catty and exclusive.
If we’ve always been under-built we need to accept that we are who we are and it’s okay. Guys may never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger at his prime and the gals may never outshine Cindy Crawford so there’s no point going through life regretting that fact. Determine to become the person you were made to be and avoid the trap of going through life always wishing you were something you aren’t.
If our history is on the over-built side there is benefit in looking at our nutritional intake and our exercise regimes. It’s not our fault we are more efficient at converting food than the little guys but it’s smart to adjust intakes and lifestyles accordingly. For starters we will live longer and we will feel better about ourselves in the process plus we find more energy. There’s nothing like the feeling of empowerment which comes from taking action. We can and should take control of our lives and in the process we can lose our self-consciousness. We can feel confident about being who we are and doing what we are able to do despite the criticism and judgements of others.
The lie is that life is stacked against us and we will never be good enough, but the truth is that we are not an accident and many of the things that have been done and said to us are totally wrong. What we need to do is put down the air-brushed star photos, go get coffee or channel surf when the image ads come on TV, learn to laugh about the dumb things that have been said about us (like the person who said that was perfect! Not!), and stop taking ourselves so seriously. We’ve got a life to live and a purpose to fulfill. God designed us “just right” for the purpose he has in mind for us so it’s time to stop calling him an idiot – he did it right so accept it! You are who you are and it’s not a terrible mistake. Your life has included some difficult people and some unpleasant experiences but that’s not a good reason to let them control how you live. Let it go! Trade the hurt-filled negative for the God-inspired positive. If there’s something you need to change, do so and get on with living your calling.
Image is not everything!
For you created my inmost being,
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake I am still with you.
Posted on March 30, 2012, in Active faith, Self-awareness and tagged Arnold Schwarzenegger, Body image, Cindy Crawford, Health, self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-esteem, Weight loss. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.