Escape negative influences; create your own body image

Brooke Riley, Editor-In-Chief

Last year, a person who I trusted changed the mindset of how I perceived the way I looked and felt about my character. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, that my image was not up to par and that I overall was not the great person I thought I was.

Staring at the blob I saw in the mirror, I thought only negatively about the person who was looking right back at me.

After a few months of feeling sorry for myself, I found a gateway through writing to get my feelings out. When I was able to be honest with myself about how I felt, I built up the courage to change my outlook and rise above the outside influences that were bringing me down.

I’m not going to be cliche and tell you that you are beautiful just the way you are and to never worry about how you look, because the way you look has an effect on the amount of confidence you have.

I’m preaching to not listen to other people or the media to change the way you see yourself.

It’s too easy to look down on yourself and sometimes hard to look in the mirror and truly feel confident in who you are and what you look like. If and when you feel down on yourself, there are a couple things you can try to change your perception.

Be aware of all the factors that try to bring you down and ignore it.

Easier said than done, right?

With almost everyone being on some type of social media, negative posts are bound to show up on your feed one way or another.

Ads for beauty products especially do a good job of making viewers feel like they are not good enough and promise that they will look better by using their products. DO NOT buy into their nonsense.

An article from Beauty Redefined said, “When we only see a certain type of woman presented positively in media, from fitness magazines to TV dramas, it’s no wonder media is consistently linked to body hatred, disordered eating and an unhealthy focus on appearance.”

This is 100 percent true. When’s the last time you saw a 160 lb woman advertising the new eyeshadow pallet? Never, because they don’t have the right appearance to show off the product.

On the other end of the spectrum, using models who present unrealistic expectations of women make the viewers feel like the won’t truly be happy unless they look like them.

The standards set for body image have become an unreal reality. We want so bad to look like the people standing before us on the media, but the truth of it is, hardly anyone can look the part of the 5’10, 120 lb woman with long, flowy hair and a flawless complexion.

Recognize the lies the media sends and don’t let it influence the way you see yourself.

But as much as it shouldn’t impact you, sometimes it does and it’s difficult to shed the negative feelings.

The one thing you can’t do it wallow in your negativity forever. If you have a negative body image like I did, start working out, eat healthier, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. The situation will not be made any better if you do nothing.

Find a way you can relieve the negative feelings as well. This can be through any form of art, music, or sports. It really up to you to find what works best. No one deserves to feel bad about the body they were given.

Negative body image is a difficult mindset to overcome, but by being aware of people and the media, ignoring it and having a change in perception will help relieve that mentality. Everyone is different; learn to embrace the way you look.