Experts estimate that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies, turning to diets and weight loss aides. We live in a society where young girls are taught to hate their bodies as they grow up, but these 5 amazing women are breaking the silence.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating describes body image as “how you perceive the way you look, how you think and feel about your body, how you think other people view your body, and how connected you feel to it. It’s the link between how we see ourselves and how we treat our bodies.” It’s a topic of extreme importance for our overall physical, mental and emotional health, and yet it is one that is so rarely discussed. It’s a topic that has been treated as taboo for far too long, and we are paying the price as a society.
Poor body image can have an incredibly negative impact on your mental health. This can lead to serious conditions including anxiety, depression and eating disorders. In fact, experts estimate that at least 30 million Americans of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. These conditions can result in major long-term health complications including cardiovascular complications, bone and muscle loss, osteoporosis, kidney or liver failure, or, if left untreated, even death.
While the problem is incredibly complicated and will take a significant shift in our society in order to make a real and lasting change, there are small steps that we can take today. One of the biggest ways that we can fight back against body dysmorphia and poor body image is by embracing the conversation. We need to remove the stigma surrounding body image and weight, helping young Americans to see that there isn’t just one ‘ideal body image’. Instead, we need to embrace our differences, celebrate our diversity and readily share your unique qualities with the world.
A recent video from the organization Iris tacked just this concept. The video featured a number of women talking about how to overcome self-hate, shed their body insecurities and learn to truly love their bodies. The video shares an important message, stating “I realized it’s not about the number on a scale, but it’s me being committed to a healthy lifestyle.” These confident women remind us of the importance of truly loving ourselves.