www.whyville.net Mar 22, 2015 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Body Image

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What is body image? That may be the question you are asking yourself while reading this. Body image is how you view your own body, it's the mental image you have created to define who you are. A lot of the time we don't have the best image of ourselves, we see ourselves in a negative light. Society has impacted the way that we have looked at ourselves, but who are we to say if it is for the better or for the worse. Today, I have discussed with many fellow Whyvillians on how they view the subject of body image and how it has made an impact on the world.

DahCutie: How would you define body image?

7stars: I would define body image as how you see yourself, particularly in physical traits.
bibi4evr: How a person sees their own body.
MadamTaz: I would define body image is a person's perception of how their body looks - whether or not they're comfortable with it.
autumnlov: My definition of body image is the way in which one judges their body based on influences and role models.
smile255: I think body image is really how you feel about your body, even if it's lies, it's how you picture it.

DahCutie: Why is body image so important?

7stars: I think body image is important because the way we see ourselves can have a huge affect on how we feel and act. Additionally, the issue itself is rather large because so many people have problems with body image. I, for one, have struggled with my fair share of depression that was at least partially caused by a very negative body image.
bibi4evr: Body image is extremely important when someone feels negatively about it. It leads to lower self-confidence and can lead to eating disorders and self-harm.
MadamTaz: Body image is very important. A positive body image is an essential foundation for a happier, healthier lifestyle. Body image can affect a lot in a person's life; someone may eat much less than what is healthy in order to achieve the 'ideal' body. Body image can affect a person's mood if you're not happy with how your body looks.
autumnlov: Body image is not important, in my eyes. The argument of whether or not your body is a projection of your soul is where I believe others find the importance of it. Although it is possible to portray ones characteristics through body image, (fitness, style, art, etc.) There are often circumstances out of ones control that enable them from having the body they desire (illness, deformities, etc.).
smile255: Body image is important to the owner of the body, in my opinion, because if you don't have that 'image' in your head you don't have anything to worry about body image. It shouldn't matter, though.

DahCutie: Do you think a person's body image affects a person's self confidence? Why or why not?

7stars: Absolutely. I think confidence comes from feeling good about yourself - inside and out. It's hard to feel confident if you're feeling rotten about how you look.
bibi4evr: Definitely. If someone sees their body in a negative light they become more self-conscious about their body and it affects their mindset making them have lower self confidence in general.
MadamTaz: Definitely. Body image is directly linked to self-confidence. If you have a positive body image, you're much more likely to have more self-confidence than someone who, say, feels like they're too fat or too thin. Body image and self-confidence are linked.
autumnlov: Body image definitely affects a person's self confidence. Society would not be able to so easily manipulate ones interpretation of beauty if people were not insecure with the way they are viewed in the first place.
smile255: Yes. They create the image in their head, although it's close to what they look like, it's wrong. Normally the body image in someones head is a insecurity. You'll get scared to go somewhere because you think that people are judging you. . .

DahCutie: Do you believe that bullying has effected how we can see ourselves? Why or why not?

7stars: I think the words of others can have a large impact on the opinions we form of ourselves. As a result, these bullied individuals may form unrealistically negative views of themselves, even when there's really nothing wrong with them in the first place.
bibi4evr: Yes. Bullying can negatively shape how a person sees their body. An individual is happy with their body image, could alter how they see their body when someone bullies them in regards to their body.
MadamTaz: Yes, I do believe that; I was on the receiving end of some bullying which resulted in a much more negative view of myself. Especially when we're in adolescence, we desperately want to fit in and our confidence is very fragile during that stage. Literally anything can cast a deep wound.
autumnlov: Bullying will always affect the way we view ourselves. There's a reason acceptance and love from others comes before acceptance of ourselves in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The road to self-actualization is longer when others point out the worst you see in yourself.
smile255: Yes, I do. When it's more than one person, it seems like they are the only ones who have enough guts to say it to you, that they are voices of everyone, when in reality it's not.

DahCutie: How can we as a society help make body image shined in a more positive light?

7stars: I think society can improve body image on a large scale by reducing negative actions and attitudes. For instance, society shouldn't promote unrealistic ideals and pick on people who don't live up to them. We also all have to realize that we're only human, and instead of trying to live up to perfection, we should try to love ourselves as we are and be the best we can be.
bibi4evr: Promote all body types in social media and have advertisements for brands have a wider range of body types. Also, teaching children at a younger age to be more body positive as well as the impact of bullying would help promote body confidence.
MadamTaz: We need to learn that all body types are beautiful. Get rid of photoshop and introduce models of a healthier weight; the goals advertising set us are, frankly, unattainable for most people.
autumnlov: More campaigns promoting self-love and natural beauty is a great start to being a body-positive community. People have to be willing to work towards opening their mind and realizing the truth behind beauty.
smile255: I think if the Internet stopped saying things like "you're ugly", and getting things like that implanted into your head, people would stop thinking it.

There are many different opinions, and hopefully as the the reader you have gained more knowledge on the subject. It is a very important topic that I felt needed to be touched on, especially in today's society. I want to thank those who I interviewed for participating and giving us their outlook on this subject


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