In 200 years the “perfect body” has known all shapes: big buttocks and thin waist, big breasts and long legs, extreme thinness, androgynous, round… It is easy to conclude that the perfect dimensions do not exist. It is the time which imposes its fashion to the women. And today, although the tendency is with the natural one, the young women are not less saved than before by the diktat of the beauty.
A survey published by IFOP for Naturavox last July tells us that only 22% of French women find themselves pretty today.
Why is this?
Although more and more media and celebrities denounce this injunction of the perfect body, brands continue to use without moderation the “beautiful” to promote their products. And despite the beginning of prevention, we can’t help but compare ourselves (and feel compared) to these muses who become references. The problem is that the ideal body does not exist, and not all morphologies are the same. It is physiologically insane to want “to have the same body as…”.
The era of social networks does not help matters: in addition to confronting us permanently with these advertisements, selfie filters come to sublimate all imperfections: smoothed skin, refined nose, enlarged eyes, slimmed face … We learn to present ourselves behind all these corrections and we compare ourselves to other young people also retouched.
Under this constant pressure our self-esteem decreases and the recourse to dangerous diets or plastic surgery increases. We are no longer taught to like ourselves as we are. We are taught to seek a standardized perfection.
What to do?
Concretely, it is impossible to avoid being exposed to the cult of the perfect body. Solicitations are everywhere and permanently. But it is possible to put in place some habits to learn to accept ourselves as we are.
The first one is to have a critical look at the media and social networks. Remember (and remind others) that reality is not as smooth as it looks on Instagram. We can admire a beautiful person while being aware that she is different. That we don’t have to look like her.
The second is to try to decrease the time spent on social networks. When we talk about reducing our consumption of alcohol or cigarettes, it seems perfectly logical and legitimate: to protect our lungs, our liver… Well, for social networks it’s the same. The threat may not be physical, but it is just as dangerous: we must protect our self-esteem! From this observation, you have to try to put in place some rules: end of screens from a certain time of the evening (this will also help you to find sleep more quickly), find different activities (reading, drawing …). This may seem complicated to implement at first, but it is a matter of habit. Change always requires an effort that diminishes over time.
Develop your self-esteem. Yes, but how to do it?
To improve your self-esteem, you must first get to know yourself. How can you appreciate a person you don’t know? There are several methods to get to know yourself.
For example, keeping a diary. By thinking about what and how to write in my diary, I reflect on myself, what I do and what I think. I take the time to think about myself.
For the more determined, the decision to go see a psychologist will be very rewarding. It is a gift that we give to ourselves. A moment for yourself where you are helped and guided by a person whose job is to help you know yourself better.
Once you are able to recognize your qualities, your weaknesses, your desires, your projects… It is easier to refocus on the essential.
To finish, remember that it is our physical characteristics that make us unique and charming. That make us who we are. Everyone would lose out if we all ended up looking the same.
Loving your body is above all a work on your mind.
What about men regarding this issue?
If men are less concerned today by illnesses such as anorexia, it will certainly not have escaped your attention that they are just as numerous as women in gyms. More and more of them also go to beauty salons to take care of their body. If the objectives are not the same (muscles and physical performance are more important for men), both sexes seem to be equally concerned by this quest for the perfect body.