Kristen Bryant-Bodies

Womxn & Body Image: How to Realize Your Own Worth

It is no secret that womxn have faced centuries upon centuries of discrimination and sexual objectification. The objectification of a womxn's body is perhaps one of the primary sources of unrealistic body expectations. Every day we are constantly bombarded with photo-shopped images of typically thin and white models. We are so often exposed to a very specific body “ideal” that we can’t help but to perceive these images as normal and easily obtainable. This leads us to immediately feel like we're "less than." It can be easy to assume we have failed or that we are not beautiful or worthy of admiration because we don’t fit the extremely rigid definition of what it means to have an attractive body. And it is no coincidence that this ideal seems to be more highly perpetuated onto womxn than it is onto mxn (not that they don’t face this issue to an extent as well). Thus, the media can be used as a tool to undermine a womxn’s worth. The more salient we become to the differences between our own bodies and that of those portrayed through the media, the less empowered, strong, and beautiful we feel. Well girl, I am here to tell you: the less time you spend comparing yourself to an unrealistic “ideal," and the more time you spend nurturing and praising what you love about your body, the sooner you'll take away big media’s power over you. 

Anna Schultz-Girl Taking Selfie In Bed Orange Lighting Anna Schultz / Her Campus Loving our bodies can seem unrealistic, especially when many of us are hardwired to believe we don’t have the “right” to do so until we obtain the unattainable. I guarantee you the very womxn you look at and think, “If only I looked like that, then I could be happy and confident," is thinking the same exact thing about somebody else! We are so obsessed with the notion of us never being enough... and what a terrible way to live! It can seem like a difficult task, but it is so important for your mind, soul, and well-being to love your body as it is, right now. Not when you reach your “goal weight,” or tone up your muscles, or cut out sugar, or whatever

HBO Try and think about all the things your body has accomplished. Has it ever walked away from a toxic situation? Carried you across a graduation stage? Gave birth to your child? Has it fought off sickness? I challenge you to begin to look at your body as a vessel of life rather than an object that needs to be molded. Once you start to acknowledge the beautiful things your body does for you every day, it becomes easier to recognize how incredible it is. Something amazing happens when we use tools of acceptance and compassion towards our bodies rather than judgment and critique: we open ourselves up to grow as individuals. We essentially free ourselves from the preoccupation with not feeling good enough. This allows us radiate strength, love, and our unique personalities, as well as the ability to recognize them in others. There is no such thing as "earning worth" or "achieving your dream body," because almost every time there would still be the feeling of something missing. So love your body, because it is so worth it. 

girl running through field Sasha Freemind