As a child, watching a lot of Hollywood movies as well as teenage shows on cartoon network made me believe my body had to be a certain standard. I wanted thin arms, a flat tummy, and curves that made my frame appear petite but shapely. I became so obsessed with my body image and the pictures I had in my head of what I should look like. Sis! Body dysmorphic disorder is a real thing.
BDD is the obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance. As I hit puberty, I saw my growing bum as a flaw. To me, they were too big, my hips were becoming too wide and all I wanted was to shrink a bit. Many of us have been there, that place where society’s standards get the best of us.
This obsessive focus is of course harmful; it opens passages in our mind for destructive thoughts, sips out of our self-esteem until we second ourselves every step of the way, and imagine that we can never be good enough. BDD can lead to depression, it can lead to a person starving oneself, lead to you harming your body due to over-exercise, or ingesting harmful substances in the guise of weight loss tea.
Like I said, every once in a while, you find yourself second-guessing your body, examining each part with nothing close to admiration because you do not see yourself as beautiful. Having a good relationship with your body is a journey that starts from you practicing body positivity.
Body positivity practices help you fight against the negative image and perception you have of your body. It helps you to deal with your insecurity and guides you to see that you are indeed beautiful. One way to develop this is toconstantly affirm yourselfwhere you speak positive things to your body over and over again. You can be in the shower, in front of your mirror, or on the bus, no matter where be sure to give your body the verbal accolades it deserves.
What do you do to something you call beautiful? You try to make it more beautiful, yeah? This is the second practice,adorning your body in feel-good clothes, clothes that boost your confidence and make you feel untouchable. A lot of us do this but I recommend that we wear clothes for the body we have now and not stockpile till we are a certain weight. All weight and body types are deserving of clothes.
One thing that helps me feel good about my body is giving people reasons to feel good about themselves through compliments. I love to give compliments to friends, colleagues, and total strangers (within reason of course) on what they have on and how good they look. It helps me boost my confidence because I know I look just as good.
As you start a relationship with your body,open yourself to body positivity messagesand do your best tonever compare your body with another. Accept your body, exercise healthy, and work with joy towards self-acceptance.