Accepting Your Body Isn't Easy
Every society has its own standards of physical beauty. A trip through history and across the world proves that “beauty” is an ever-changing concept. For some groups in certain places and times, there’s nothing more attractive than a large, fleshy person. It reflects opulence and power. For others, beauty means facial deformation or significant scarring on the skin. Accepting your body is a major issue in today’s society.
Currently, in the West, “commercial beauty” reigns. A person can achieve a nice body or a beautiful face through some product or procedure. These, of course, cost money. Attractiveness can be bought and sold. Behind all of this are enormous economic interests.
“We know now that the soul is the body, and the body the soul. They tell us they are different because they want to persuade us that we can keep our souls if we let them make slaves of our bodies.”
-George Bernard Shaw-
This situation is rather troubling. Many men and women all over the world blindly accept and internalize these ideas. They forget or they don’t know that they are being manipulated. The powerful few are using them to get rich. In the meantime, they learn to harshly judge their bodies. They won’t forgive a little roll of fat and feel like they are worthless if they don’t fit the imposed idea of beauty. The pressure in the media is intense, but the most intelligent thing to do is to resist. Here is some advice on how to get out of this toxic situation.
Learn to read the messages in the media about the body
You can be sure of one thing – models that you see in the media are not real. Most of the people in advertising weren’t born that way. They spend way too much time in the gym or have surgery to get their perfect body. Photoshopping helps too. They might have undergone some combination of all of these things.
The “perfect size” is dictated by the world of advertising and those who sell beauty. Why are bodies with certain characteristics “perfect” and other bodies aren’t? Because those who sell creams and surgery and beauty products impose these ideas. The more difficult it is to achieve the “perfect” body, the more products they sell. If the ideal body was easy to achieve, if accepting your body was the norm, these companies would be out of business.
Maybe you yourself only view certain bodies and faces as beautiful. Nevertheless, you should be aware that you have been trained to think that way. Maybe it would be a good idea to protect yourself from these harmful messages. Don’t expose yourself to the media without the proper defenses.
Reflect on why accepting your body is so difficult
Maybe you’ve noticed that not many people feel truly happy with their bodies. Not even the models that you see in all the commercials. Most people have some kind of complaint about their body. Some want to be taller, others want to be shorter. People with curly hair want straight hair, and vice-versa. People with big butts try to make them smaller, and those with small butts try to make them bigger. It is incredibly common to be unsatisfied with your body. Accepting your body as it is is very rare.
At the same time, many people are very critical of the physical appearance of others. We see this a lot among women. They judge your body and appearance without permission to do so. They evaluate you. “You’d look good if you lost a few pounds” “Your hair looked better before you cut it.” There’s always some professional critic making comments, and they don’t actually want you to be better. They try to make themselves feel better by pointing out your flaws.
That’s why it’s likely that the inability to accept your body probably hides even deeper dissatisfactions with yourself or someone you are close to. Maybe you feel like you aren’t worth enough. You translate the expectation to love yourself more to your body. Or maybe there are relationships in your life that aren’t built on fairness and sincerity. It’s much easier to accept yourself when those around you accept you as you are.
Taking care of your body is important. You have to make sure it is healthy and can carry out all its vital functions. It is also important that you look how you want to look. No one is worth more or less because of their body, that’s for sure. No one is happier or more balanced because they look like someone in a magazine. It seems like it would be that way, but it’s not. Nothing that is really important in life can be achieved simply by having a nice body. Accepting your body means accepting who you are.