FOR as long as I can recall, I’ve always tried to be honest, but yet still informative with my discussion in the contents of this column. So, if we’re to be honest, things either went south or north during this pandemic. We either lost something or gained something, for better or for worse. The same can be said for one’s weight and overall body structure. I’ve gained weight during this pandemic. My body has changed drastically and that is so because of the drastic change of routines. I think it’s safe to say that it has started to affect me in other aspects of my life. I’ve also noticed that I’m not the only one with bodily changes during the pandemic, as there are numerous articles and blog posts about it.
Our body image is the perception of aesthetics or sexual attractiveness that we or others may have/hold about our bodies. One’s body image can be either negative or positive. Negative body image can consist of the terrible things we say to ourselves about how we look, how we try to change our appearance and undermine our values and worth as a person based on our physicality. Positive body image on the other hand is when a person is happy with the way she/he looks. Sadly enough, there are more negative than positive body images in society. Body images develop within us from an early age and a negative body image is caused gradually over time. This happens when a person gets accustomed to others negatively speaking about their physical appearance. Vice versa, with a positive body image.
I have struggled with accepting the way I look for many of my early teenage years. I think the problem with most teenagers is that they try to rush or even hide from puberty. During puberty, our bodies undergo many changes, so I think it is best to leave it up to mother nature to build up your beautiful body.
I remembered crying so much in front of any mirror I looked at. What made this experience worse for me was the unnecessary and distasteful comments students from my high school made about my appearance. From then to now, I have figured out that there’s a key that solves it all; do you know what it is? A word that is easily said but not always done—acceptance. Even if you want to change the way you look by exercising or by eating healthy,
it is important that you still accept you for you.
Every time I feel or think negatively about my body I would say, “I accept the fact that this is who I am, this is who I was meant to be. My body is beautiful and all of my flaws are even more beautiful.” Try it, I promise you that it helps!
I believe it is up to us if we want other people and their negative influences to affect us. If you have a positive body image, if you accept the person you see every time you look in the mirror, then I think the next time you see an Instagram model on the explore page, there wouldn’t be a piece of doubt in your mind. If there is a friend, partner or even family member who speaks negatively about your body? *snip, snip* and cut them off. We must surround ourselves with people who accept us for who we are, and if there are any criticisms to be made about our bodies from them, it should be constructive. Go easy on yourselves. Internalise positivity with your body image and then try to inspire others around you as well. COVID-19 has already been difficult on us all as it is. There is no need to fix a body that was never broken, to begin with.