Body image has often been a concern, especially among women. Having an unhealthy relationship with your body can often lead to mental health issues and destructive behavior. Although you may never be perfectly happy with your body, there are ways to improve your body image.
Follow a Wide Range of People
Social media can often be a catalyst for a negative body image. Not only do we tend to follow people who we idealize, social media is often a breeding ground for bullying. Find people who you admire for various reasons beyond their physical appearance and those who portray confidence regardless of size. For example, you might admire people for their knowledge of science, creativity, or advocacy work. As far as physical characteristics, there are many people on social media who may not fit the idealized standard of beauty, but show their confidence to the world. Seeing more messages from a wider range of people can help you feel more confident in yourself. It may even help to follow a self help blog if you're having trouble finding good role models on other social media platforms.
Focus n What You Can Do
Many body image issues are about weight, size, and shape. However, it's important to realize that there is no limit to body weights, shapes, and sizes. There are people who are avid weight-lifters, dancers, or other athletes. You might soon realize athleticism comes in different body types. Many people developed a better relationship with their body after participating in a sport or other physical activity. For example, some women who are recovering from eating disorders or may have been obsessed with thinness are directing their energy toward being stronger. This in turn, has allowed them to be less finicky about their diet and endless hours of cardio. Additionally, the pride that comes along with accomplishing an athletic goal can make you feel good about your body, regardless of weight, size, or shape.
Listen More, Watch Less
Instead of focusing on what you see online, consider exploring podcasts that are created to increase body positivity and send other positive messages. Filtering out images and simply listening and focusing on the message can also improve your self-image. Other types of podcasts that might be helpful to you are topics on mental health. It is not uncommon for people who struggle with their body image to also experience depression, social anxiety, or personality disorders. Listening to podcast can be a way to meditate and reflect on your feelings and behavior with fewer intrusions from visual imagery, lights, and your mobile or computer screen.
Although it is unlikely you will experience a change in your body image overnight, there are ways to make slow, consistent progress. Focusing more on characteristics beyond your physical features and following different types of people with a positive message can help.