“I hate my stomach!”
Do you feel old, unattractive, find yourself staring at that selfie and saying, “What? I don’t look like that!”
According to a survey from Today/AOL, Ideal to Real Body Image, these comments are indicative of the way 67% of women think and talk about their appearance. When it comes to self-esteem and body acceptance, we are our worse enemies. We need to get a grip on how we see ourselves and stop comparing ourselves to some ideal image that isn’t real.
Teens struggle more than adults, in part, because they compare themselves to celebrity images. Those celebrity pictures that are air brushed and touched up do lead to body dissatisfaction. And when it comes to selfies, if a teen posts her own picture, she feels more confident. But, if someone else posts the picture, insecurity can abound!
Men don’t get a pass either. Worry over appearances affects 53% of men. Only financial worries ranked higher.
And as I discussed in my book, Making Peace With Your Thighs, the stomach comes in #1 in terms of body parts not liked. Additionally, the Ideal to Real Body Image Survey found that women worry about six body parts; men worry about three.
Moms worry the most about body image and are concerned about how this plays out with their children.
A little good news on the body image front is that our worries over appearance seem to decrease with age. The obsession dwindles and we try to become more accepting. But the power of social media is proving to help and hurt women and men when it comes to accepting how they look on that selfie.
So what can we do? Find our worth and identity through our relationship with God. We do reflect His image and He finds us beautiful, even with all our imperfections.
For more help with body acceptance, Making Peace with Your Thighs by Dr. Linda Mintle