By Bridget Weber
Your body image shows how you feel about your physical appearance. Like many people, maybe you dislike your reflection in the mirror. Social pressure to look perfect could make you miscalculate your attractiveness. Airbrushed images of superstars and models ooze from fashionable tabloids and the screen. Indeed, it’s unsurprising if you believe some physical traits are undesirable. The message is that laugh lines and a shapely figure are defects when they might be your best features if your self-image changes.
Alter your outlook
Get naked and study yourself in a mirror. Imagine you have not seen your reflection before. Consider how a kind, positive and sincere friend would interpret what they observe. When you study your body through compassionate eyes, it may appear strong, organic and healthy. Or your reflection might be slender and willowy. Other words a constructive individual could use are bewitching, elegant and attractive.
When you survey your reflection, abandon old ideas about how you imagine you should appear. Most likely, you would not be as judgmental about yourself without contact with common ill-conceived notions about looks. Perhaps you would love your fine lines because they prove your emotional experience is vast. Likewise, your body shape and weight may be immaterial.
List positive words that represent you. Be poetic, using beautiful, vibrant vocabulary as though you characterize a work of art. Are you soft and undulating or glamorous and wise-looking? Use unfamiliar words to help you explore yourself differently.
Reappraise your body image
Look in the mirror again while describing your physical appearance using words from your list. Observe your body in an artistic sense rather than compare it to preconceived notions about physical perfection. Peruse your body with gratitude, too, for how it serves you. Think about how each body part works for you and helps you to experience life. Note how it allows you to touch, taste, hear, see and recognize scents.
Decide to stop judging your body
All of your physical qualities are acceptable. Note also, popular specifications about physical appearance change all the time. They are not reliable yardsticks. Choose to respect your body and ignore critical ways of measuring your value. You will view yourself differently and appreciate yourself more.