Ideal Body Image
and the Ideal Body Shape,
Is There One?

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The ideal body image is very controversial. After all, there is a huge difference between best and ideal, and when the media is concerned the ideal isn’t easily attainable, and certainly not the best.

The ideal body image or the ideal body shape tends to be whatever is most difficult to achieve during a given time period. If too many women were able to meet the ideal, then standards would have to change for the ideal to retain its extraordinary nature. Even worse is that this ideal shape is usually hard to achieve.

The media, pushing looks, then the businesses pushing products, have served to turn a natural concern towards looking nice to a dangerous obsession. Remember, body image isn’t inborn, but is a learned. The same with body shape.

This ideal image of body shape is usually the hardest to achieve during any set period of time. Just think about it, if it were easy to get, then the “ideal” would become ordinary and a new ideal would be born. This happens constantly in our society.

Research has continually show that when exposed to the media’s depiction of the ideal body shape, women's self esteem actually lowers significantly. Some people are driven to value themselves by comparing themselves with others. When they get an unfavorable comparison, it triggers feelings of being inadequate and worthless.

What is needed is less focus on the ideal body image and more work towards a positive body image. Sounds easy but it is not! Nor is learning to accept yourself just the way you are.

When we give this more attention, we are then able to focus on building our friendships, working on our jobs, and growing more successful. These all help make a wonderfully healthy self esteem.

A person that deals with a bad body image may work endlessly trying to change how they look or how they act in order to feel a certain way, to obtain that ideal body image, or for them to feel like they can be excepted by the media’s standards. This can trigger many problems, it can be one of the causes of anorexia, or other eating disorders. But if you can change your attitude, if you can change the way that you see your body and how you may think of will be well on your way to having a healthy body image.

To a certain extent, some things are out of our control. Like our body shape. Blame your parents, blame your grandparents, whatever...but outside of surgery, it is what it is. (If weight is an issue, go ahead and make an appointment with your doctor and find out if things are ok)

Figure out exactly what you can change about your appearance and what you can’t. Begin working on those things that you can change. Make some goals, keep track of your progress, and reward yourself. Achieving those goals is a wonderful way of raising your self esteem.

Look closely at your

nonverbal communication:body language. This is an area overlooked by quite a few people. Your view of your self image will show through your posture, and without saying a word, tells others how you feel about yourself.

For the things that you can’t are going to have to learn to accept them as part of what makes you a special and unique person. Really try and understand that point, they make you...unique! Don’t get all negative about them, because without them you would be a very un-unique person!

Stop the negative self-talk. You will never have the ideal body image, so why abuse your emotional self by constantly talking negative. When that starts, immediately find three things that you absolutely love about yourself and focus on that. Yes, it may be time for a little self love here, because that old saying is true, you have to love yourself first before any one else will.

Given time, this change in focus will change how you feel about your body. The most valuable things that you can do for yourself is to stop criticizing your body and begin to treat yourself correctly. A nice walk, music by candlelight, playing with your pet, a good dinner, day at the museum, hot bubble bath..... When is the last time you took one hour and pampered yourself?

You are important, and I can honestly say that if you do not treat yourself well, other people will not.

Today is a fantastic day to start that change in your attitude. Ditch the media’s version of the ideal body image and embrace what makes you unique! In doing so you will be improving self esteem, balancing a healthy body image, and building self confidence!

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