Body Image & Self Esteem

I’ve been plagued for a couple days with thoughts about body image and how it impacts self esteem.

Today, I find that my daughter and many in her peers group (college age) struggle with body image.  “I’m too fat” or “just a few more pounds before I feel pretty” or “I can’t   wear that,  eat that,  do that,   be that   because I’m too fat,   skinny, ugly…” and so on.

And the problem isn’t just with young women!  Young men want to be stronger; they feel compelled to work-out more, eat less, and find ways to measure their progress.  Girls asking them out? No?  Should probably work out more.  Yes?  Should probably keep working out to ensure I can keep my present girlfriend.  Pimples, scars, body hair – ANY of it can be used to gouge at one’s self esteem – any of it can tank a body image.  😦

There was a time when my self esteem was very directly tied to how many heads I turned and how many dates I was asked out on.  I needed my jeans to fit a specific way (& in the 80s that meant TIGHT).  My hair had to be streaked blond and big big big.  Make-up on or else I wouldn’t leave the house (or at that time, my military dorm room).  And come the summer?  Bathing suit shopping was a nightmare because this bump or that lump showed too much (strangely enough, I look back on old photos of me then and I can’t even see the issues that I thought were so damning).

Truth was my body image was shit and my self esteem followed it. And once you’re there, it takes deliberate daily work to break that habit and find another self image

So today, in a small effort to begin to make a change to that, I’ve made a photo that can be printed and pasted on every mirror, every refrigerator, every bedroom wall.  Yes I know it’s a girl — I will make one for guys too  🙂

It captures my feelings  perfectly and I hope it can bring some body images (and self esteems) into balance.

Love Myself

Please comment on techniques you’ve used to accept your body, to silence the negative self talk, or ways in which you’re winning in the struggle with body image or self esteem.   Blogs and websites that you found helpful would also be great.  Or better still … tell me what you did with the picture (mine is hanging in my bathroom)  🙂

Exalted Peacock Logo

Post Script:

For all the guys out there … I’d hate to see you with that lovely girl stuck on your mirror  😛  Here is the promised pic for you (AND I am working on a third that’s universal) … STAY TUNED  🙂

6 pack or love

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About ExaltedPeacock

Finding cool new things each day to love about me & those around me. Everyone is peacock beautiful. Celebrate it!

4 responses to “Body Image & Self Esteem”

  1. Savvy Working Gal says :

    I can’t tell you how much I love this post. Excellent advice. I was datingn the 80’s as well and still struggle with body image and appearance

  2. Heather says :

    I think now, in this day and age, body image and social messages about it are even worse than in the eighties. Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  3. nuri says :

    I am one that struggles with body image and I didn’t when I was skinny. I think the only way for me to not struggle with it I think, is for me to get back to the size I was.I didn’t even notice my body back then!!!!! And I can’t really understand where the change happened in my self-esteem because I was much younger then. Shouldn’t self-esteem come with age? In terms of confidence I would say that my confidence has gone up and my self-esteem down. Does that even make sense? IDK. I just know that I had a confidence issue but I didnt have a self-esteem issue (in terms of my body). My confidence is not entirely intact, its just much more intact than my self-esteem is. But then I find myself wondering, maybe my confidence isn’t that great….. usuallly people with confidence dont have self esteem problems…they are confident and comfortable in who they are……. idek what I am talking about anymore to be honest.

    • Exalted Peacock says :

      Nuri,
      I agree that confidence and self-esteem are related, I don’t think they are so broadly back and white.
      I am tremendously confident when it comes to work-related proficiency and my ability to manage people, build teams, and accomplish tasks and projects in a professional environment. Conversely, I am sometimes concerned about love and romance, how a man will treat me, and whether or not I can attract the kind of man that I want to deserve.
      Self-esteem and confidence run in shades of grey in all aspects of our life and I think that the healthier our self-esteem (including body image) is, the higher our overall confidence is as a person.

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