What Shapes Your Body Image? 4 Factors that Could Be Ruining Your Self-Esteem

By Mae Davies / February 13, 2015
What Shapes Your Body Image 4 Factors that Could Be Ruining Your Self-Esteem
Your perception of your appearance lies in what you see in the mirror every day and by the response you get from the people around you.  Body image is an issue that many women struggle with because in this modern world, the standards of society truly play a major role in what an individual feels towards his/her physical appearance.  From the media to your peers, these major factors have a negative impact on your self-esteem and could really put a toll on your social life.  Here are four factors that you should learn to control in your life in order to build a better body image

What your friends, coworkers, family members, and even random strangers think of you can sometimes have an effect on how you feel about yourself

Before you even get out of bed, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? “What am I going to wear?”  Yes, one of the first things that most women worry about before they step out into the world is their appearance, because whether you admit it or not, the opinion of your peers towards your physical appearance actually matters.  People have their own standards of beauty because of the influence of the media as well as society; sometimes people can be harsh and some can be forgiving, but whatever they may think or say, it shouldn’t make you think less about yourself.

The media is filled with images of what ideal beauty of a woman should be

Generally, this unrealistic picture of a perfect face or a perfect body raises the bar of expectations for the average women.  Beauty should not be defined by the numbers on a weighing scale or body measurements but by character and appreciating one’s natural God-given beauty.  These idealistic women on covers of fashion magazines or swimsuit ads give young and old women the thought that they have to look like them because according to the media, you can’t be a star if you don’t have flawless skin, long, luscious hair, or a slim figure.  These ideal images of women, however, have to undergo a total makeover, covered in layers and layers of cosmetics and undergoing hours of editing before they look like the final product.  Your own beauty is unique and you shouldn’t have to compare it to superficial figures that were put together by technology. body image

Issues towards poor body image does not get any better when vanity sizing in different stores across the world makes shopping for your size even more frustrating

Vanity sizing has a physiological effect on a person; it sometimes causes one’s self-esteem to go up and other times take a deep dive.  The number on the label, whether it’s a size 4 in one brand or a size 6 in another, definitely changes how a person feels about themselves because let’s face it; finding out that you are two sizes bigger in one brand than what you usually wear in another brand can be quite depressing.  Numbers are not a woman’s best friend, especially when it comes to measurements and sizes, but what do these numbers really have to do with who we are inside and out?  The size written in our clothing labels shouldn’t define our true beauty.

Keeping a weighing scale in the bathroom floor makes some women very uneasy

The sight of a scale right when you walk into the room can cause your curious mind to want to step onto that scale and find out if you’ve gained or lost a pound – trust me, this can be very nerve-racking for most women.  The weighing scale itself is not the problem, but the amount that flashes before your eyes.  The numbers on the scale have the greatest influence on a woman’s body image; it can either make you feel fat, skinny, or in between, but no matter how much a woman weighs, women commonly are still not content with their results.  Weight, however, shouldn’t be the number one factor that determines if you’re beautiful or not because beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Although your perception of your own body image may not always correlate with the standards of society, accepting what you have can make you stand out from society and be a beautiful, confident, and unique individual.  Measurements, numbers on a scale, the media, or what others say about you should not be a hindrance for you to love your body, so before looking into the mirror every morning, prepare your mind to be positive and be confident to compliment whatever you may see through your eyes.

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About the author

Mae Davies

BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.