Noreen is the lead of Rava's Editorial Team and has been associated with the world of journalism since 2012. She is quirky with an awkward sense of humour and an advocate for common sense. Her skill is to use sarcasm to survive on daily basis.
Let me start this post by telling you one simple thing, YOU ARE AMAZING:
In life, there are usually two aspects in a certain type of conflict: body image and social pressure; that is, the social idea of beauty and our own physical appearance. The second is that which comprises our own characteristics, largely determined by our genetic inheritance. The problem occurs when the environment in which we live and negative experiences we have experienced, we let social pressure affect our self-esteem, distorting our body image. In order to maintain a healthy body image, we must understand certain social aspects and put into practice some habits that will help us to cope with the idea that we must see ourselves in a certain way to be accepted.Upon asking our ever-gorgeous Rava Community members, some women expressed how they were body shamed by their own families.
You will meet a number of people in your life that will have their own opinion and the only thing you can do is to kill them with kindness and your killer looks.
How does body image work at the psychosocial level?
When we talk about body image, we refer to the perception that a person has of their own body and its degree of beauty. This concept does not have to do with an exact measurement of weight, proportions of the body, color of eyes or hair; on the contrary, it has to do with an image, largely subjective, of how we see ourselves. Thus, a person with a weight that is within the limits of what is considered healthy, may end up having a distorted body image, coming to think that he is overweight when reality is not like that, and it is in these cases when Problems such as bulimia and anorexia can develop. Or a white-skinned individual is given preference over a dark-coloured beauty.
Although these last mentioned emotional problems are two extreme cases, in reality many people live with moderate self-esteem problems that originate in a negative perception of their physical appearance. We hear that the ideal of beauty is, for example, to have arms with a certain thickness or toning, and when we let ourselves be influenced by it we begin to feel less attractive, and even less valuable.
So my mom would tell everyone how I was so dark complexioned when I was born that my khala’s son would call me Jayasuriya. She would say ‘jab mujhe pata chala Jayasuriya kon nikla, maine usko itna danta’ but she did tell this story to everyone for fun’s sake.
It is important to keep in mind that the factors of body image are subject to change over time, from one society to another and even at different stages of our lives. For example, if we look at pictures of some of the famous painters of the seventeenth century, we will see how the ideal of beauty required women to have broad thighs and hips. Even in the 50s of the twentieth century, icons such as Marilyn Monroe achieved success in film showing a rather curvilinear figure compared to the current ideal of beauty. On a personal level, there are stages in our life when we think that we do not see ourselves as well as we should, something that usually happens in adolescence, but with the passage of time and with greater maturity we are able to accept and celebrate our physical appearance and our particular characteristics.
Behaviors related to body image are strongly influenced by learning and the sociocultural environment and sometimes it is difficult to differentiate what is fashionable, custom or pathology, since the latter is constructed in a singular history and acquires its differential and specific nosological profile in relation to the context of its production.
On the other hand, the degree of approval that a person has regarding himself or self-concept includes a peculiar articulation between internal and external factors, that is, those that come from the comparison of the ideals proper with those determined by people significant (parents and peers), framed with the ideals imposed by society. It could be asked then what are and what will be the effects of the prevailing ideals in today’s culture, hyper-thin for girls and hyper-muscular for boys, both in their adult and child versions, on the fragile developing body image of boys, girls and current teenagers?
Low self-esteem and a tendency to self-assess exclusively in terms of weight and figure in girls aged 7 to 8 years would be predictive of the possibility of developing an eating disorder in later years and, therefore, a fundamental target for prevention. It is known that a negative body image in early adolescence predicts depression and eating disorder and that it has its roots in the infant body image.
Even the kids come up with such kind of statement mama there is fat boy in our class he walks like an elephant, that’s so annoying, at the same time he is concious about his height and ask me why do I look short among all my class mates! And there we have to council them, I don’t understand from where these thoughts come from into the tiny innocent minds let alone the mature one.
In a prospective work by Davison et al. it was observed that girls who presented body dissatisfaction and weight worry between 5 and 7 years had at 9 years greater dietary restriction, altered eating attitudes and greater tendency to perform diets regardless of weight. It is a known fact that people with eating disorders present a range of concerns, attitudes and behaviors regarding weight and body shape, but: where do these concerns come from? Research in this area has shown that concerns about body image follow a development that begins in childhood and continues into adolescence and that the origins of these concerns would be influenced by family attitudes and beliefs, adverse experiences and socio-cultural factors.
“Upon telling that I only take a glass of milk for breakfast, my teacher told me Sehat dhekh k toh nahi lagta. Tumari sehat toh parathe ghee wali hai. Years later I found out all that weight was due to Hypothyroidism.
TRANSMISSION OF THE BODY IMAGE
Mothers have traditionally had a powerful influence on ideas related to the weight, figure and feeding of their daughters. It is known that identification with the parent of the same gender and the older sisters plays a preponderant role in the development of body image in girls.
Maternal dietary behavior would have a greater influence than the paternal one on the daughter’s attitudes and behavior, but it should be noted that comments made by a male family member (parents, siblings) are often they cite as precipitants of dietary behavior and parents of daughters with restrictive anorexia nervosa show higher levels of perfectionism.
In recent years, the information available has reinforced the idea that parents can directly contribute to their children’s eating problems through the social values they support, in particular by creating a family environment that places great emphasis on physical attractiveness. the thinness, encourages behaviors of diet and exercise in the search of an ideal image.
My dad said to me when I was 18 “ weight lose karo warna koi shaadi nahi karay ga. Main mard hoon aur janta hoon mardon ko kia pasand hai aur tum jaisi moti larkiyan unn ko nahi pasand”.
Different works showed:
A) negative feedback from family members about physical appearance and the need to diet as a major predictor of bulimic behavior;
B) that families of people who criticise eachother’s presence present greater concern with social and physical appearance;
C) that the impact of these parental values is observed early in childhood.
Young women of reproductive age today are a generation that has been raised with mothers immersed in the culture of dieting and overly concerned about appearance, weight and body shape. We are currently facing the third generation of dietitians with the aggravating circumstance that girls begin to diet at an increasingly younger age. Today, grandmothers and mothers judge the bodies of their granddaughters and daughters, respectively, with the same severity with which the culture would judge them at the time.
After one week post partum.. A relative commented… U still look at least 6 months pregnant
Upon reaching puberty or, at the latest in early adolescence, girls already share the same concerns about weight and figure as adult women. Prospective studies show that the increase in preoccupation with body image during adolescence is due in part to the physiological weight gain associated with puberty.
In the context of late adolescence, the cultural context becomes decisive to aggravate or perpetuate a preexisting condition or, on the contrary, to fulfill a protective or reparative function through a protective environment that facilitates the acquisition of new psychic resources that allow, in turn, the coping of new experiences and the modification of potentially traumatic situations.
Got turned down for a rishta once because they said I was too overweight. I just thought, f*** you too, don’t wanna be part of such a family. Been told multiple times that I need to lose weight because in RishtaWorld™️people look at a girl’s appearance and a guy’s earning potential, how he looks doesn’t matter. I was told to go on a diet and practically starve myself to death.
What can we do to maintain our high self-esteem in the midst of this social demand?
Accept that there is no beauty, there are beauties.
A guy rejected me because I was too dark and a bit chubby for him. I rejected him because I was too good for him
Beauty can be found in different shapes, colors and textures. There are as many curvilinear beauties as there are skinny beauties, there is straight hair that is beautiful as well as there is curly hair that is beautiful, there are skins of dark tones that are beautiful as well as there are skins of lighter and paler tones that are beautiful in themselves. Even Hollywood has assimilated and promoted this idea, and today we see how there are actors and actresses who are considered beautiful and beautiful, with different types of physical appearance.
Surround yourself with an environment that promotes acceptance and not rejection of your body
Be a recipient of the messages of the fashion, music, television and film industries with a critical sense, bearing in mind that it is not necessary to look exactly like the singer or the actress who presents us. Likewise, it is very important that you pay attention to the friendships with those around you. A study recently conducted at Texas A & M University found that, among Hispanic teen girls, they are friends or peers who produce more body image problems, more than television or other media.
Exercise and eat healthy.
Remember to exercise within healthy areas, avoiding obsessive exercise regimes or with a background inspired by unrealistic aesthetic models. Also, feed yourself healthy for the simple fact that you love yourself and want your body to stay healthy, do not do it because it seems to someone else with circumstances different from yours.
We hope you have these tips in mind and that you know how to defend yourself every time someone makes a comment about you or someone else, promoting messages that affect your body image or someone else’s. Learn to respond to these ideas so widespread in our society with respect and firmness. Remember that your ideal of beauty must be centered in you, you must be your own ideal of beauty.
The real measures faced with the scarce offer of diversity proposed by the fashion industry generates a security crisis when it comes to exposing the figure. “When one has faith, that is, when one navigates in one’s own energy, one validates oneself, it is fear, which reduces one’s confidence, which prevents one from feeling comfortable with one,” explained the psychotherapist.