Your relationship with your own body image and positivity can have an effect on your mental health. We hear so much in the news and on social media about mental health, but few would connect negative feelings of body image issues with mental health issues. It’s common to have good days and bad days. Almost everybody has times when they feel happy with their appearance and other times, when they just generally have a bad day. But when your negative feelings about your body image are preventing you from feeling happy within yourself and stop you from wearing certain clothes and participating in activities, it might be a bigger problem than you might have thought.
What Causes Body Image Issues?
Some blame social media. Others blame their less than tactful friends and relatives. And let’s not forget that every time you go to pick up a women’s magazine, there’s always a new diet or fitness regime to try, guaranteeing results in a fortnight or less. The problem doesn’t get any better even when we venture out on our own. The changing rooms of fashion stores are the types of places that will make you beam from ear to ear at your reflection or burst into tears. I feel that women in particularly don’t get a break from feeling as though they should be obsessing over their body image. But if you listen to the collective majority who offer no personalised information to you, you will fall victim to skinny-shaming, fat-shaming, and be criticised over how fast or slowly you’ve lost your baby weight. A very small minority of women don’t suffer from body positivity issues in their lifetime (well done to them), some reach a certain age and realise it’s not important what others thing about them, but unfortunately there are many who walk under this black cloud of low self esteem their entire lives! So what can we do about it?
Curing Body Positivity Problems
“If something doesn’t work for you then don’t work with it!” Do you know what the great thing about personal style is? You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I’m a professional fashion stylist and I’ve worked with so many women who suffer from body image self esteem issues and they’re only making one problem: they’re admiring and shopping for the body shape they simply don’t have. I can also reveal that if you were to let me dress a woman who in your eyes is body image perfection, I could find her something that would be highly unflattering on her. I could also find something that would deliver her personal appearance in the best possible way. That’s style!
The above mentioned facts about where body image problems stem from are all often caused because we try on clothes that are just not right for us. Another issue is the unsophisticated sizing options available in the average high-street store. They’re often advertised as ready-to-wear pieces, when in actual fact few items of clothing that you can buy straight off the rack work in that way. This is one of the reasons why I also support the concept of “buying less but buying better.” It is far better for your own body positivity, your bank balance, and the planet if you purchase just a few quality garments that have been tailored to suit you and your personal body shape. This sounds costly but it doesn’t have to be, plus you’ll be saving so much money in the future if you adopt this shopping habit!
It’s also a good idea to learn a few basic dressing tips to educate yourself on how the geometry of dressing your body shape works. Yes, I really did just mention the word “geometry” in an article relating to fashion style. This just goes to show how body shape is more than just how we look, there is a logical science behind it too. So don’t feel bad about making mistakes at times.
Here are a few styling tips that can help you in your way:
•There are generally four different types of body shape type.
•The type of body shape you have doesn’t depend on your weight or BMI, but just the type of figure you have. I’ve seen women of all weights with all different types of body shapes.
•Pictures you see in social media, at their most natural, are professionally styled and expertly photographed versions of the individuals. That means that they will be dressed in something ultra flattering, told how to stand in the best positions, tilting their head and hips at the best angles, in front of forgiving lighting.
•Then there’s always photo editing and airbrushing which is usually used and with which the average person doesn’t have any chance of competing unless they want to copy the same process.
•Accessories like jewellery will also alter how long or wide your limbs appear. Larger watches, bracelets, rings, and necklaces will usually make you appear narrower, whereas their smaller versions will make you appear wider. Earrings are different yet again. Longer, narrower earrings that don’t stick out from your head will make your face look longer and thinner, whereas round earrings that come out from the face will have the opposite effect.
•And a little fact you might not know…the backs of women’s hands always appear larger in photographs than what men’s do. It’s just one of those photography fails that can’t be explained, but happens.
Learning to Accept Your Body Shape
I remember reading a great quote in (ironically) a juice diet book a few years ago. In the end I thought better than to give into that fad diet pressure of the time and try the diet. Instead, I read the book and took one great piece of advice from it: “Use your body, exercise and live healthily because you can. Think about all the people who would love to be in your position, who’d love to be able to go for a walk or enjoy a game of tennis, but can’t!” I think this applies to all areas of life, but I’m going to word it a little differently. Instead of just applying it to health and fitness, I think it can be applied to everything in our lives: “do because we can and be thankful for what we have!”
Find Out How to Dress Well for Your Body Shape
If you’d like to find out more about dressing for your body shape, you might be interested in my only body shape analysis here. It’s simple, convenient and you don’t even have to leave your home!
If you feel that your issues are more serious and you would like to talk to somebody, don’t forget to check out the online therapy offered by BetterHelp.