Licensed Mental Health Counselor
When we look into the mirror and dislike what we see, it is not because there is anything wrong with our bodies. Our thoughts and judgements of our appearance are what hurt us. This is one reason why changing our bodies doesn’t actually make us feel better.
Losing weight will not automatically make you feel better about yourself. This is a myth. Becoming thin does not make you into a person that you can now like. It does not make other people more kind. It does not prevent bad things from happening to you. It does not protect you from rejection. Regardless of how our physical shape changes, our negative core beliefs remain. So what we need is not a makeover of our bodies, but of our minds.
It is estimated that the average person in 2020 sees between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements every day. In these ads, the same message is implied over and over: we are not good enough as we are, and we need to buy things to fix our flaws. If we are not actively working to reject these messages, we often passively buy into them. Many of these ads target our insecurities because if we are insecure, we are motivated consumers. We have been conditioned to pick ourselves apart. Our minds have been turned against us.
Our minds are powerful things. When we begin to take responsibility for our thoughts instead of passively believing what we are told, we can be intentional about creating the kind of relationship that we want to have with our bodies. As long as we continue to measure our worth against narrow and oppressive standards of beauty, we will never be satisfied with what we see in the mirror. We have a choice: We can accept these beauty ideals or resist them. By resisting them, we begin to change them and can choose for ourselves what we think is beautiful.