Blog 6 – Body Image

As we enter the warmer months, many people may start to notice body image difficulties. These can vary from anxiety around acne, being self conscious about your weight, how your nose looks and many other things. 

These difficulties are unique to each person! 

As an individual with an eating disorder, I have gone through my fair share of body image difficulties. As time has gone on I have realised that for me it was never about my appearance and more so about underlying emotions or harmful cognitive patterns/beliefs I held. I know that it will be the same for many others who are going through or have experienced an eating disorder. 

Body image difficulties can be made worse by comparison. Social media is one of the big contributers to maintaining these negative beliefs. What we have to remember, is that these images are only a snapshot into the person's life. They will often edit these photos, delete many photos they didn't deem "postable" or pick certain poses to hide their own insecurities. This means that the bodies we see on Instagram or tiktok or Pinterest etc don't look the same as in real life. 

In an article in the BMC Psychology journal by Ozimek.P(2023) it was noted that the percentage of photos edited prior to being posted "ranges between 30 and 90%". 

This means if you like 30 posts a day, at least 9 of them will be edited! 

To help ourselves with body image difficulties, we have to focus on what our bodies are doing for us every second of every day. Our hearts keep beating 24/7, our immune system fights against infections and keeps us healthy and our digestive system helps us digest the food that gives us the energy to do our favourite things. Even if you are disabled in some way, your body is still valuable and amazing as it is. 

Remember our body is an instrument not an ornament and we are not made to focus on our bodies constantly! 

Thank you for reading this article. 

Make sure to look after yourself and remember, asking for help is always okay. 

If you or a loved one are in crisis/are a danger to yourself or others call 999, attend A+E or call your local crisis team.  

https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40359-023-01143-0#:~:text=There%20are%20reports%20in%20the,range%20between%2030%20and%2090%25.