- Mental Health
The Power of a Positive Body Image:
When you look in the mirror what do you see? If you were asked to describe what you see in three words, how many of those words would be positive?
We all have a body image, is yours positive? We all have feelings about the way we look, and the way we think others see us. It’s perfectly normal to feel good about certain parts of your body, and not so good about other parts, because a positive body image is derived from much more than one’s physical self. Body image is about how you feel in your body and in your skin. Do you feel strong, confident, attractive and in control? If you can answer yes to this then you are able to accept the way you look, you are proud of the way you look, and you don’t care if your appearance closely matches the ideals created by society and the media.
It is important to understand that one’s physical appearance does not determine one’s self-worth. Unfortunately the bar has been set so high when it comes to physical attractiveness, that it is nearly impossible to reach. Images of pristine, airbrushed models, and celebrities are so easily imbedded into the minds of males and females at such young ages that today even children are becoming fixated on how they look, how they want to look, and what they are willing to do to achieve a certain standard of beauty. Something is wrong when there are young girls feeling inadequate about their bodies, posting half-naked selfies on the internet, looking for attention and approval from others. Today it seems that beauty is in some way measured by how many “likes” we can get from others. We’re all guilty of it. At one point or another we posted a picture in which we felt beautiful, with the expectation that others will see the photo, and “like” it. But, the boundaries are continuing to be expanded and blurred. Posts by young pre-teens and teens are becoming more and more raunchy, attention seeking, and of course filtered. And “likes” by others are valued much more than “likes” by ourselves.
The quest to a positive body image and the quest for the approval from others will most likely always be controversial and debatable topics. Fortunately people are willing to speak out about these issues and the importance of feeling comfortable in your skin and in your genes. Sorority Delta Phi Epsilon of Southern Connecticut State University has found a creative way to shed light on the effects of poor body image by putting together a fashion show cleverly titled Comfortable in Your Genes. Nearly thirty models of all different ages were confident and proud while strutting their stuff. A $5 donation was suggested from all attendees, and that money was collected to benefit ANAD: Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. The show was held at the Adanti Student Center Ballroom at SCSU on February 27, 2015 at 7p.m.
Sadly a poor body image can lead to the development of life threatening eating disorders as well as an array of other unhealthy habits. This was a message that Delta Phi Epsilon wanted to send, and they were able to do that with the help of several guest speakers who are also SCSU masters students. These students have worked hard to develop a women’s empowerment group with an initial goal to reach at least one person that has been in some way affected by poor body image. This group meets once a week in the Women’s Center at SCSU, and it will meet until the end of the spring semester. Each week these empowering students will host an array of fun activities geared towards empowering women and girls. For example; during one of the weekly meetings, everyone was asked to rip apart magazines as a way of disregarding the negative messages received by the media that suggest we are not okay as we are.
This week’s meeting will shed light on NEDA Week: National Eating Disorders Association Week. Those who attend will be asked to take part by closing their eyes while others write positive messages to them on sticky notes. Then the volunteers will be asked to take a selfie and reflect on the empowering messages they have received, and their overall experience.
The ten week women’s empowerment group has been created to help not just women, but girls of all ages feel beautiful about themselves without seeing a need to change anything about themselves. In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of a positive body image one of the guest speakers at Comfortable in Your Genes, and one of the students who took part in creating this women’s empowerment group Gabrielle Puccino recently posted a selfie and hash-tagged it #favoritepartofyourbody #lovetheskinyouarein #asmilegoesalongway.
Do you love the skin you are in? You should. There is nothing wrong with being completely happy with the way you look just as you are.
Help Delta Phi Epsilon and the creators of this women’s empowerment group located at SCSU promote the importance of a healthy and positive body image by posting a selfie along with three positive words describing how you see yourself.