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Four steps to a healthier body image

By Rama Hijazi , Family Flavours - Oct 23,2022 - Last updated at Oct 23,2022

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

Although I’m a makeup artist, I, like most women, must deal with body image and break free from negative thought cycles. Our perception of our body image and our emotions and feelings towards it contributes to our self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Body image is the picture you have of yourself mentally and the emotions you feel when you look in the mirror. Accepting how you look does not mean you do not have flaws or are unaware of them. It means you are aware of your flaws and can resist the pressure of changing them to please society or to fit societal stereotypes. 

Self-esteem is the extent to which you value and respect yourself and your overall opinion of yourself. Both a healthy body image and good self-esteem support and strengthen your self-confidence. Hence, these three concepts are connected and inter-related.

How to create a healthier body image

• Respecting your body: Nurture your body with well-balanced food choices that include your daily needs of vitamins and minerals and your favourite foods in moderation. Since poor body image is often linked to dieting, avoid fad diets

• Exercising to build body image: You may view exercise as a punishment, making it difficult for you to initiate physical activity. You may view exercise negatively because you see it as a way to change the way you look, which intensifies the negative feelings you have of yourself and the pressure you feel about fitting into society’s beauty preferences and stereotypes. If you view exercise as self-care and not because you care how others view your body, you will find that exercise positively influences the way you experience and view your body

• Avoiding focusing too much on your appearance: When you intensely focus on your appearance and body image, you may find yourself repeatedly checking the mirror, seeking reassurance about your looks or obsessing over perceived physical flaws. If your thought patterns about yourself are leaving you feeling embarrassed, ashamed and anxious, then seek out a mental health professional for support

• Practising self-care that doesn’t involve your looks: As a makeup artist, I, of course, promote skincare routines, and I encourage you to see it as a fun way to set aside time for yourself after a long day. But also think about non-food related, non-appearance related skincare rituals that will bring calm and tranquillity into your life, such as meditation, yoga, watching a movie, taking a stroll, reading, writing or making art — creativity has a tangible positive impact on our mental wellbeing

 

The sooner you realise that you are good enough exactly as you are, the happier you will be in your own skin.

 

By Rama Hijazi
Makeup Artist

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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