Mind Candy

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Why so many women lack body confidence

Posted by mandyf on February 10, 2012

So many women lack body confidence because the idealized vision of the ultimate woman is unattainable for the average woman. It is not just a matter of advertising and the media, although they play a hefty role, it is also about self confidence as a whole and not just in regards to an individuals body. if you then factor in how often the image of the “ideal” woman changes, who can honestly ever attain that lofty goal?

Wanting to be the ideal woman in regards to the way a woman’s body is shaped and presented to the world is something that is all too often ingrained on young girls before they have any understanding as to the reason why. It is not because parents are trying to set an impossible standard to match so much as it is because as a parent, you always want the best for little girl. You want her to fit in and be healthy, and as importantly, look healthy. We assume if we meet these criteria, our little girl will be happy. We reinforce this with praise and rewards hoping that as our little girl grows up she will take this behavior to heart and strive to reach the ideal look of womanhood on her own.

As our little girls grow up, they become more in tune to the images they see online, in print, and on television. The women that seem to have the best of everything tend to have a very specific look. Consciously or not, those young girls begin trying to emulate those images, often with no resistance. If anything, they are encouraged to strive for that idealized perfect body. While some will be gifted enough to come close to, or actually reach that standard, for the most part few ever will. Instead they will obsess on every imperfection, every zit, every birth mark, every ounce of extra fat that is real or perceived. Even those women that are held up as the ideal will often do this exact same thing because it is in their mind that it is important to always be as near perfect as possible. Sadly, this often continues into their adult years.

Unfortunately, because it is so impossible to attain the idealized female form, many will go to extreme and even unhealthy measures to try to reach this perception of perfection. The harder the woman tries to be ideal, the more things that often are seen as requiring change. The more that is seen as requiring change, the lower a woman’s body image drops along with her self esteem as a whole. They often develop a mentality in which they ask them self, “If all of this is wrong with me, is anything right?” The perception of negatives can become so overwhelming that it is impossible to ever reach a stable and content middle ground regarding body image.

Rather than focusing on the features that are perceived as negatives, what is really necessary is a celebration of what is positive. If you love your eyes, remind yourself of that. If you feel like your hips are too wide, remind yourself of the beautiful children that helped widen those hips, or that will enjoy the easier passage they afford over narrow boyish hips. If you are big but healthy, take pride in that! Get comfortable with your skin and how you feel in it instead of paying attention to what others think is wrong with it – they are not perfect either.

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