This is a topic I have been meaning to write about for a while. It’s a very sensitive topic for many people especially young women (let’s not forget guys are equally affected by this also!). With the increasing rise of photo based social media there is an influx of images which are presented to readers about what is the perfect body and what size we should be.
Growing up I was always self-conscious about how I looked, was I took fat, too tall, too broad, too curvy. The list was endless. Fortunately for me during my teens, body image wasn’t plastered all over the TV/magazines and there was little social media (I’m not that old but times have changed fast!). Todays you can’t browse Instagram/Facebook and other mediums without coming across adverts for Slim Tea’s, Nutrition drinks, meal replacement supplements, diets and the latest trend of waist slammers. In no way am I saying that all of the above don’t work or are a fad, however it seems that unless you are on a diet or following a particular exercise or taking a particular supplement then you are missing out. I’ll be honest I have tried some of the above growing up, I was instantly drawn into purchasing the slim tea with the hope of achieving that perfect size 6 body (btw there is nothing wrong with herbal teas which accompany a healthy diet and exercise), I joined boot camps with a promise of losing a ridiculous amount of weight in the worlds shortest period of time and having to follow a diet which didn’t allow me to eat more than one meal! Looking back I am shocked at how much I have been drawn into the fads, spent ridiculous amounts of money and been so insecure about my body and body image.
Exercise and a balanced diet are so important, I have first-hand experienced the yo-yo of weight increasing and decreasing and the toll this takes on your self-confidence, for some it can even lead to bouts of anxiety and eating disorders. I was astounded to come across research which suggested that 91% of women are very unhappy with their bodies which has led them to trying out some kind of diet or extreme exercise to achieve the ‘perfect body’. Even more worrying is the fact that 58% of young girls of school ages are feeling under this very pressure. What most people forget is that the images that we see and the ‘perfection’ that is portrayed in the media is no way a reflection of reality, this is a very miniscule number of women who have such bodies and even more worrying, men being accustomed to such imaged of the ‘perfect woman’ are thinking this is what is to be expected from their partner.
The question then is, if you do feel this pressure, feel unhappy or lack confidence about your body what can you realistically do? Speaking from experience I have listed a couple of points which have helped me achieve ‘body confidence’ – you will be surprised how much of this actually has to do with ‘dieting’.
– Happiness– It is a well-known fact that when you are happy it releases hormones in your body and radiates in your body language and with the way you approach things. Women who ooze confidence and are happy with their bodies are the ones more often than not who wear a smile and are happy- negative emotions have a negative impact on your body. Smile. There is nothing more attractive than a woman who smiles.
– Mindest– Mindest in the hardest thing to change- what do you actually love about your body- and yes we all have certain qualities about our bodies that we should be proud of, embrace them! Understand what is actually making you unhappy about your body? Is it actually to do with your body or is it negative emotions which are a result of something else? If so address them and push that negativity to one side.
– Appreciate– Appreciate your body, take time out to do yoga, Pilates, go for a massage or a facial and give your body the TLC that it deserves. Maybe you’re not wearing clothes which flatter your figure and this makes you unhappy, take along a friend or enlist a stylist and find clothes which are more flattering (many women wear the wrong styles and this can lead them to be very unconfident!) wearing clothes which flatter your body can make a huge difference.
– Exercise and a healthy balanced diet– With all the fad, phases and blasts of different diets we see, there will be one that always works and will never go out of style. It takes time and patience but a healthy and balanced diet will give you the happy weight your require. It won’t happen overnight, will take patience but will have an effect. Equally exercise released hormones which help you sleep better, make you happier and make you feel more healthier.
Until next week x
Samia is a co-founder and development director of Hijablicious. She will be regularly posting her outfits and sharing her love for fashion.View all Samia posts.