As the weather gets warmer, we store away our winter coats and sweaters and bring out our shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits. This can be a dreadful transition for those with negative body image therefore it is important to maintain a positive mindset.
Researchers have explored the definition of body image, specifically positive body image. They found the topic most prevalent amongst college women. Researchers collected thoughts from this target audience, as well as body image researchers and clinical experts to learn their definition of positive body image. They collectively defined positive body image as…
“An overarching love and respect for the body that allows individuals to…
- Appreciate the unique beauty of their body.
- Accept and admire their body.
- Feel beautiful, comfortable, confident and happy with their body.
- Emphasize their body’s assets rather than dwell on their imperfections.”
Although this is the general scientific definition of positive body image, it is important to understand each individual’s perception is influenced by different factors. Therefore, there is no singular definition to define everyone’s version of a positive body image.
Ultimately you will not have a positive body image of yourself unless you have a positive mindset. In order to practice this positive mentality, you should understand the social identities that researchers say take part in shaping your mind. Culture, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, and socioeconomic status impact your own perceptions.
Overall, you must program yourself to believe you are good enough, replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, and surround yourself with positive social identities.
Within our Positivity section we have a series Positivity Series that offers an informative class titled Rewire Your Brain. Our teacher Zach will explore ways to reset your thoughts and get you on the right track to thinking positive this summer.
To learn more about positivity beliefs and practices make sure to click here.
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Tylka, T. L., & Wood-Barcalow, N.L. What is and what is not positive body image? Conceptual foundations and construct definition. Body Image (2015)