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  • Writer's pictureRitu Punjabi

Are You Critically Aware of Your Body Image?

“I am fat” “I am thin” “I am tall” “I am short” “ I am dark” “ I have flabby arms” I have a huge paunch” “ I have a big, round face”,etc…

We have all said these and many more statements like these, about ourselves. Without realising that we are tuning our mind to believe these as facts of our existence and tuning them into our Body Image!

Jean Kilbourne, a pioneering activist, speaker, and writer, writes, “Advertising is an over $200 billion a year industry. We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, remarkably, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, popularity, and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.”

Right from the time we wake up to the time our head hits the pillow at night, we are bombarded with messages and expectations about every aspect of our life and most importantly our Body! From magazine ads and TV commercials to movies and music, influencer & celebrity social media accounts, we are told exactly what we should look like, how much we should weigh, how our hair should be, how clear our skin should be, how toned our body should be, and so forth. And trust me, it can be overwhelming and no one is immune to it either. How much ever we try to avoid our exposure to such media, it is almost not possible, because this exposure today is equivalent to holding your breath to avoid air pollution!

And as humans, it is in our biology to trust what we see with our eyes, which makes living in a carefully edited and photoshopped world extremely dangerous. However, to overcome this challenge there is still some amount of reality check that can be done, by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Is what I am seeing real? Do these images convey real life or fantasy?

  2. Do the images reflect healthy living or do they turn my body and my relationships with myself and others into objects and commodities?

  3. Who benefits by seeing these images and feeling bad about myself??

And this is where you will start being critically aware!!

Blog Inspired by and excerpts from The gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

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