Self Esteem vs Body Image

Discussion in 'Bring your Head Inside and your Body will Follow' started by Diva, 30 December 2006 Social URL.

  1. Diva

    Diva Cambridge Diet Counsellor

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    I came across this great article and thought it would be quite interesting reading for us "Minimisers" (could have written it myself! ;))

    We all know that most people, especially women, associate self-esteem and body image into one category and think they are the same thing. This is not true. Too many of these people think badly about themselves and about their worth because they don’t like the way they look. But guess what? No one is perfect. No one will ever be perfect. Everyone has their flaws in appearance, but the key is to learn how to love yourself for who you are, not what you look like. You have probably heard many people tell you time and time again, that looks aren’t everything and that your personality is what matters the most. Guess what? They are right!! Let’s take a look at the definitions of these two words.

    self-esteem
    n 1: a feeling of pride in yourself 2: the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect; "it was beneath his dignity to cheat"; "showed his true dignity when under pressure”

    body image
    n. The subjective concept of one's physical appearance based on self-observation, and the reactions of others.

    When a lot of people are feeling negative, they tend to look outside of themselves for belief of their self worth. A lot of people associate things like appearance, wealth, material goods, accomplishments, jobs, marital status, and social approval as their sense of self. All of these things are a false sense of who you really are as a person.

    Think about this analogy for a minute, we accept animals for exactly as they are. We love them no matter what they look like or what they do, they just are. Animals don’t look for outside approvals, they just accept themselves for what they are. This same thing should be the way humans view themselves. Self-Esteem is established from one’s talents, qualities, character, integrity, dignity and value. You need to nurture yourself from the inside out. Start by putting yourself first!

    The reasons people have self-esteem are pretty simple. They could be from the people in your life and how they treat you, any forms of abuse, and the media is a big one to blame for this. They give people these unrealistic fantasies of what the perfect body should be and it’s unattainable. Most of those celebrities you see look no different than your or I when they are not all glamoured up for the red carpet. A lot of high dollar designers and makeup artists are the ones who get credit for that. Same thing with magazines, a lot of those models are airbrushed to look perfect. An example that comes to mind is Kate Winslet’s photo shoot for the British GQ magazine. They airbrushed her legs and breasts to make them appear smaller, she almost looked anorexic. Kate was furious about this saying “"This is me. Like it or lump it. I had to starve myself for Titanic and it just wasn't me. "I'm not a twig and I refuse to be one. I'm happy with the way I am. I'm not like American film stars. I'm naturally curvy." So many people believe they can achieve these unrealistic fantasies with just one more cosmetic surgery procedure, or if they just starve themselves a little bit longer. It’s unhealthy and very damaging to your self-esteem.

    You just have to start loving yourself for you who are. Stop the negative self talk and flatter yourself with positive affirmations. “I am lovable and capable”, “I accept all the different parts of myself,” “I fully accept and believe in myself just the way I am”, “My feelings and needs are important”, “I believe in my ability to succeed”. These are all great things to say to yourself over and over throughout the day, but they will only work if you believe them and believe you are worth it!

    There are many things you can do for yourself to show that you are worth it. Take a nice long hot bubble bath, get a massage, buy yourself a rose, go for a scenic walk, buy new clothes, watch the sunset, rent a funny video, write yourself a love letter. They may seem a bit silly to you, but if someone else did this for you, you would be flattered. Stop depending on others to make you happy, make yourself happy for once!
     
    Last edited: 30 December 2006
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  3. DQ

    DQ Queen of the Damned

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    Wow!!!! Incredibly timely post with so many of us kicking ourselves for 'failing' over Christmas and beating ourselves up. Nice one :D
     
  4. flirty40greeneyes

    flirty40greeneyes Busy busy busy!!

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    I like this one - need to buy a new fridge just to stick all this inspirational pages i print out on!!
     
  5. Seniormum

    Seniormum Member

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    Thank a mil for that its all so true I start off great burst of energy/enthusiasm in the morning but by afternoon all the thoughts of how many times I have failed come back and I give out so much to myself and convince myself I am not able to do it only to reach for food to cheer myself up....and then give out again for reaching for the food,it is vicious circle that is very hard to break. I got a hypnosis tape years ago (that I must find!!) and the one line that sticks in my mind is "give yourself a big mental hug.....you are wonderful...you deserve it" and that line brings such a good feeling its incredible
     
  6. to lose long trek

    to lose long trek Full Member

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    I have just cut and pasted the quoted comments to my notes and plan to put it on my fridge and another copy on my bedroom mirror. Great post and thank you for sharing that.

    Di
     
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  7. ScattyKatty

    ScattyKatty Full Member

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    didn't kate winslet then go on a strick diet and go super skinny? Thereby undermining everything she'd said. Its natural to judge and feel judged by nothing but appearance by a first impression, so its natural that self esteem is affected by appearance. The way that people socialize and interact with you is also affected with appearance. So its just natural that would then have a knockon affect on how we think of ourselves. We don't judge animals but animals of the same judge each other by their appearance within the animal kingdom, take birds for example the males will prance around and be judged on the brightest plumage by females (very superficial). Even at the dawn of mankind humans have decorated themselves with paint and jewelery in a shallow attempt to alter appearance to stand out so i don't think this preoccupation with looks is anything new. We all know what we should feel but i do think its always been like this regarding appearance and self esteem and that it does affect how we view ourselves. On the other hand some peoples entire self worth is dictated by their appearace to distract themselves from their inner issues and that is harmful. I'm losing weight for vain reasons but in myself i'm a confident person. However losing weight does give me a different inner and social confidence as well and i can't deny that. Sorry i'm rambling lol
     
  8. marmite 330

    marmite 330 Gold Member

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    You just have to start loving yourself for you who are. Stop the negative self talk and flatter yourself with positive affirmations. “I am lovable and capable”, “I accept all the different parts of myself,” “I fully accept and believe in myself just the way I am”, “My feelings and needs are important”, “I believe in my ability to succeed”. These are all great things to say to yourself over and over throughout the day, but they will only work if you believe them and believe you are worth it!

    There are many things you can do for yourself to show that you are worth it. Take a nice long hot bubble bath, get a massage, buy yourself a rose, go for a scenic walk, buy new clothes, watch the sunset, rent a funny video, write yourself a love letter. They may seem a bit silly to you, but if someone else did this for you, you would be flattered. Stop depending on others to make you happy, make yourself happy for once![/quote]

    Its all very well saying 'love yourself for what you are' but really how do you do it? I have been trying for years to be me and I still hate myself, I have tried positive affirmations and it dosnt work because the first time I come across a problem I think its because I am useless and stupid and ugly yes and FAT. after 45 years of this its hard just to read a magazine article and say oh thats ok then! i am really clever and beautiful and everyone loves me. The reality is that I and no doubt others have used weight issues to avoid dealing with emotional truths. This is the hard part of what I am doing now, I can lose weight, I have done so before, but will it be enough to make me like me? I dont think so, its not the only answer, it helps but more is needed, i wish i could have brain surgery to remove that dark little patch in my brain that keeps kicking me down over and over again. I compare myself to others in my workplace and find myself wanting every minute of every day! I am using this site to explore these things and to be honest it makes me want to cry that there are so many of us who treat ourselves so badly.

    I once worked with a very ugly man, but his confidence and ego were huge and he got girlfriends, several at a time. I looked at him and thought if I could have a tiny percentage of that I could find happiness with me but it never came.

    Dont bother reading this rubbish I am rambling somewhat!!!!!!!!
     
  9. coley144

    coley144 Creating my life

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    I only started really loving myself once I'd sorted out why I hated myself. That involved counselling and lots of thinking things through...which I'm still doing. It involved looking at my past and the messages I'd taken on without thinking whether they were true.

    So in answer to your question of 'how' - counselling. By deciding you are worth the effort to sort yourself out you are already starting the care for yourself.
     
  10. marmite 330

    marmite 330 Gold Member

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    I have tried counselling, and EMDR. I have dealt with some of the really clinging stuff from when I was 9years old and other stuff but one issue which I cant put on an open forum will not be dealt with and stays like a never healing knife wound to my soul. Sorry to be depressive, I am not most of the time, I really need to speak to my sister about it!!! hapopy new year
     
  11. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    It’s really more to do with getting a balance.

    We all like to look good when we are with other people, but most people put more of a priority on looking good as opposed to being healthy.

    Compare that with the animal kingdom and health will come first every time.

    We have gone past viewing our image in the same way as an animal. They preen themselves and show their brightly coloured plumage for sex :D The don’t do it so animals of the same sex will admire them, or to gain confidence…it’s all down to getting as much sex as possible so they can pass their genes on to the next generation.

    There is a theory that women started applying lipstick to mimic the labia; to make the men sexually aroused. Obviously the majority of us wouldn’t wear it for that reason any more. Okay…okay…some do :D But generally we wear lipstick to gain approval from others and hence make us feel more confident. We feel confident looking good because society as a whole puts more of a priority on looking good rather than looking healthy.

    Unfortunately, the desire to look good above being healthy makes it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

    You can get slim and stay slim for a while anyway but still have a really bad relationship with food. You can eat all the wrong things, binge eat/starve etc and still look slim. You may look fabulous on the outside, but could be totally miserable on the inside.

    Weight isn’t the problem. It’s just a side effect of the problem.

    You could throw yourself into a prickle bush each day, but would it be okay as long as you had a good concealer to cover the damage?

    As I say…it’s a balance. We tend to want to look good to gain approval from others…that is where the confidence comes it, but confidence isn’t self esteem, they are two different things.
     
  12. Purpleangel

    Purpleangel Silver Member

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    the thing is that self esteem and our body image seem to be so linked to each other.

    I don't know if its something thats programmed into us or something external that causes us to be this way.

    my theory is the media perpetuate this. For example a stupid/evil person in a cartoon may be 'different' in how they look from the norm. For example in the Little Mermaid the evil woman was huge with big tentacles. The you have Ariel the star of the cartoon with a teeny waist and long flowing hair. What sort of message does that send?

    Then the kid may be told they are bad-stupid-whatever and what will they link it to? The negative images they have seen and therefore imprint that image on themself.

    This is why i think that the two are not one and the same but most definitely connected.
     
  13. Janey2004

    Janey2004 This is for ME!

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    Found this really interesting reading. For years I looked for (what seemed)elusive self esteem. I had none for such a long time, for lots of reasons. wasn't until I had CBT and psychotherapy that I truely got to the root of my self loathing and how to deal with it on a day to day basis. I wasn't easy and I had some hard, hard inward looking moments. I have self esteem but I am also realistic with myself and can give myself a telling off when I need it without being down on me. The weight thing, my body image, even at the weight I am now I like my body, just would like it smaller for no other reason then to make ME feel happy. Intially I had this"I'll show them all" attitude but tbh I just want to show ME. Anyways thats my ten pennith. :)
     
  14. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Just out of interest Janey. Why do you think that being smaller will make you feel happy.

    Not saying it wont, but just interested in your reasons....and everyone elses too! :)
     
  15. Janey2004

    Janey2004 This is for ME!

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    Its not THE thing that would make me happy, maybe I phrased that wrong. Just prefer being a bit fitter and wanna get back into my smaller clothes. Theres that wee bit in me that wants the confidence that, for me, losing weight gives me. I don't hate myself for the size I am or anything. Comfort is another thing too. Loads of things I find uncomfy about being bigger,physically I mean. :)
     
  16. Imogen

    Imogen Member

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    That’s alot to think about! Thing is, when I think about what I want to do in life, my achievements so far and pictures of myself doing things I'm proud of, I always think about how different they could of and can be if I was skinnier. When I got up on stage with my band I was thinking about how I must look silly because I'm don't have the right body to really make it in a band. When I became a published author I turned down the option to be in the local paper because I would prefer people to not know what I look like. I am very proud of my achievements but I know that by losing weight I would feel a whole lot better about them!
     
  17. Imogen

    Imogen Member

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    I am not on a 'diet' I just try to eat to lose weight
    And I agree with Janey, being bigger is uncomfy in so many ways... There are more things to concider than just wanting to look like women in magazines. Health, comfort, confidence.
     
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  19. Konvictz

    Konvictz Full Member

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    whats the difference between self esteem and confidence?

    ive been told that im a little too confident, in normal life and in school/college. i know what im good at, and i also know what im really bad at.

    about my body image, i had a decent body most of my life. now ive gained some fat, i still feel almost as confident as before. but maybe im thinking that i can return back to my good body in a quick amount of time so im not too bothered. if i was 10 stone bigger for example, i might be having a different frame of thought.
     
  20. LellyM

    LellyM Member

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    Well, like many of the people here I have a very low body image. I know I am an intelligent successful woman but I hate the way I look and it effects most of the other aspects of my life. For me it goes back to a mum who obsessed about my size when I was a child and once, at a party, walked up, prodded me in the stomach and said "you look fat". I was 19 yrs old and for the 1st time ever I felt good (that didn't last).

    I hate mirrors. I am not pretty, not even close but I think i have a nice open face and a good smile (not that I smile a lot). Now I am on anti depressants and am seeing a nutritionist who seems to think tiis all so easy but my life (and professional success) reqires me to spend 3/4 of my time in India in hotels where the only food is curry and rice and he says "can you find something else to eat at lunch", yeah, I'll eat the salad and spend the next week vomiting - lovely!

    I have done this before - lost 9 stn about 8 yrs ago. They are back with friends. Last time my mind just clicked one day and I became practically obsessive SW. This time I just can't get my head in gear. Don't know if the anti-d's or the depression are hindering it.

    Sorry, I'm rambling. I tend to. Spend most of my time alone or with men so I never really get female interaction.

    Lelly xx
     
  21. yoyoer

    yoyoer Silver Member

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    Hi Lellym, I've just seen this post. It was posted some time ago but I am interested to know how you are getting on now? Did you overcome the curry problem? I've never been to India so can't imagine how to cope with eating choices there. Hope you found a way.
     
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