I’ve put on a lot of weight as I’ve gotten older and it’s mostly a problem of diet. Too much soda. Too much fast food. I had horrible teeth as a child. I wore braces for four years. So I’ve had my share of body image issues. I still have them, only I’m older now and I mostly don’t care. So anyway, body image, that’s this weeks subject in Healthy Living. Here’s the question for the weekly discussion board and my post in response.
Discuss how our culture, family and friends can have a negative impact on our body image?
We have all probably seen or heard someone being judged or talked about in regards to a persons appearance.
How did this make you feel?
Culture determines what is normal, usually through some sort of ideal. If we fall to far outside our cultural norm we are judged unfit or undesirable. Family is often times our harshest critics, in their efforts to make us fit the cultural norm they often cause emotional harm by making us self-conscious of our appearance. Friends, schoolmates, and even coworkers can also be inconsiderate ore even cruel when it comes to judging our appearance. It all creates a devaluing of the self that no one should have to cope with, particularly in the most difficult years of life before you’ve truly found your way. Body image is a powerful motivator in life, but it is not always one that is positive. It can lead to pride or anger, entitlement or shame, and can have lifelong effects even after change has occurred.
It is always an uncomfortable feeling when faced with those brazen enough to broadcast their prejudice and ridicule of others. There is always that one person who feels it is their right to voice their opinion, wanted or not, no matter how cruel or callus it may be. Whether that be through humiliation, taunts, or insults, the inclination I have most often is to shake my head and think, what gives you the right to judge these others? Unfortunately, I very rarely say anything. We all have something that makes us uncomfortable and self-conscious. And there is always that one asshat who thinks it’s funny or clever or necessary to point it out, usually in an unkind manner. Even when it is not malicious, perhaps we should all think not twice, but three times, before we voice such sentiment. Let’s all try to make others happy, and not bathe in our own vitriol.