It’s swimsuit, tank tops and flip flop season now that the heat and humidity have dialed up a bit. As I write this article, I’m thinking about a hysterical movie called “I Feel Pretty” starring Amy Schumer, and the fact that some of us will be dreading slipping into our summer attire because of poor body image.
I took my young daughter to see the movie. We couldn’t stop laughing–it was actually quite funny! I was curious however, about how my daughter’s attitude would be towards her own body since an overarching theme in this flick is about body image problems.
Let me tell you that I was amazed she had no opinion at all. In fact, she said she doesn’t care what other people think of her body, and that it’s silly for people to worry about the opinions of others. What a relief! It’s possible that her nonchalant attitude is because she’s young and hasn’t suffered any rejections.
There’s a veritable selection of magazines that line the stands with statements claiming how to have a bikini body, or abs of steel by doing a particular workout or following a certain food program. Don’t think for one second that this message doesn’t shape our blueprint of how our body should be.
Body image is intimately tied to self-esteem, which is how a person thinks or feels about him or herself. So, it’s understandable how body image directly affects one’s self-esteem. We know that comparing ourselves to the media types is a recipe for poor body image. But, the subjective mental image of one’s opinion of self absolutely comes from negative thoughts and feelings about one’s appearance.
If you’ve read any of my articles this past year, you would have noticed me specifically writing about how our thoughts are nonsense and how these thoughts have never served our highest good. By the way, I’m not referring to intentions, or affirmations. I’m referring to the misguided, undirected, terrible, yet unevictable, bully that lives in your head. Don’t listen to it! Don’t give it rank above your own intentions or goals that you create in favor of your highest self.
Easier said than done. Being mindful about the random thoughts that shoot across the bow of your head is a good start. Michael Singer, author of “Untethered Soul,” talks about an easy experiment that one can do to get more mindful of those thoughts. He advises readers to make the intention to witness those thoughts that your mind churns out while you are taking a shower. If you do this, you would be surprised at the crazy, nonsensical voices in your head. Singer says to notice these thoughts, and realize that they are not you.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of “The Four Agreements,” calls this negative mumbo jumbo, the Mitote, otherwise known as voices in your head. The mind, left to its own devices, will dole out negative, not-at-all-helpful thoughts. Don’t make the mistake that these thoughts are you.
Please do not respect the bully in your head that is talking smack about your beloved body.
Like it or not, summer is here. The ferocious heat and constant humidity will remain with us for a while. This type of weather lends itself to outfitting our bodies with sleeveless shirts and shorts when we are running around town. It’s the perfect time for swimming with our kids and hanging out at the beach. Just please remember to wear sunscreen!
We will enjoy a smoldering Summer in Jacksonville when we ignore the bully in our minds and honor the bodies that have been with us since birth. Like my daughter eludes, don’t give one iota to whether your body is good enough. Love it and treat it with respect, and dress appropriately. For more information or help, please email [email protected] or call 904-565-1001.