Is Body Image Awareness Making People Unhealthy?
There used to be a time when advising someone to stay fit and attain a healthy weight was not considered a crime. How many times have your parents, relatives, or friends shown concern about you being overweight and offered free weight loss advice? If you had to collect a penny for every time someone gave you free advice on how to stay fit, you would have collected a lucrative amount by now. If today you do the same, people may get offended.
In fact, campaigns have been run on social media platforms promoting positive body image. Actors have shared their experiences on their social media accounts on how they were body-shamed during a film shoot. To think of it, fit actors also get body shamed. Hence, you are not alone in this. The shift in the thought process has resulted from awareness and constant promotion of body positivity. Social media has helped to reach out to the youth to spread the word further. TV Primetime shows like ‘The Mindy Project’ focusing on the subject of body image issues so openly.
With people being constantly being educated about positive body image, does the value of fitness depreciates? Well, that is a debate in itself that needs to be evaluated in more depth.
Why Was Body Image Awareness Introduced:
So, let us first understand the intent with which the awareness of positive body image was introduced. For years, a particular fitness standard seemed to be the set protocol for everyone, irrespective of their genetic history or body type. The focus on models advertised by the media made a set of people feel negative about how they looked. Little did they know most of these images we idolize are morphed to look perfect. The rise of the inferiority complex became so dangerous that several people ended up being anorexic. Especially the younger generations were largely affected as they are the ones who feel the pressure to look good. Obviously, the lack of maturity played a major role, which pushed several teenagers to be depressed.
This was when the introduction of positive body image seemed like the only way people leave behind this madness to become size zero. This is honestly needed, especially to make the youth understand the importance of accepting yourself.
How Body Image and Mental Health are Related:
Body image issues honestly have nothing to do with how you physically look. It is more related to how you feel about yourself. At times, healthy and beautiful people also do not have positive feelings about their looks just because they may have a broader nose or large feet. Body image issues do not just include how much a person weighs, but it is much more complicated than that.
We can go to the extent of saying that it has nothing to do with one’s physical self, but it hits closer chords to mental health. It is rightfully said that body image starts in mind, not in the mirror.
How are Body Image and Self-Esteem Related?
A healthy body image is tolerating your looks and accepting yourself the way you look right now. It should mean that you are not conditioning yourself that you will love your body only if something changes. It goes beyond your weight and shape. A healthy body image includes recognizing your qualities and who you stand as a person. It is not just about the shape or appearance but loving your overall aura.
On the other hand, self-esteem is how you respect yourself and what is your opinion of yourself. Self-esteem is beyond your body. It is about your entire persona.
If you have good self-esteem, you will never put yourself down and criticize your body. On the other hand, if you have a positive body image, your self-esteem will go up automatically.
Do Positive Body Images Make It Ok to Remain Unhealthy?
Recently I met someone who weighed double than she should. When I had a conversation with her, she said that she is ok with how she looks as she has learned to love herself. I agree she should love her body, but that does not mean she lets her body suffer because of her excess weight. The true meaning of loving the body is to keep it fit. For example, imagine you are a dog owner who loves his dog. As all dogs love to eat, your dog always begs you for food that is natural. So, just because you love your dog, does that mean you overfeed it to make it happy, or you focus on the dog’s health so that it can lead a healthy and happy life? Well, now you understand what we want to convey here.
So this brings us to our question of body positivity awareness is making people unhealthy. Well, it is doing the opposite. People just do not understand its meaning clearly. True body positivity motivated people to love themselves and try their best to maintain a healthy body. This does not mean you should visit a gym, especially during the current pandemic scenario. GymNation On Demand has brought you online workout classes that do not demand you to step out of your home.
The True Meaning of Body Positively:
The problem is not the introduction of body positivity moment, but what people infer from this body positivity does not talk about being ok if you are unhealthy. It is all about accepting how you look and be happy about it now. This does not mean you do not try to change an unhealthy lifestyle that makes your body unhealthy. People who aim to be healthy hate how they look currently; hence they want to change that. This is not how you should go about it. Love yourself now and make up your mind to take care of the body you love such much by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet. This positivity towards yourself will also help make a change in your fitness, physically and mentally.