How Body Image Negatively Effects Women's Confidence
How Body Image Negatively Effects Women's Confidence
Confidence is defined as a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities and qualities.
I don’t know about you, but I spent a number of years WITHOUT any self-assurance. In fact, as a kid, instead of taking the time to develop new skills, I simply gave up on whatever I was working on if it didn’t work the first time. Whether I was learning a new sport, instrument, new language, solving a math problem, I would move on to something new hoping that I would have a natural talent with the next thing. I never knew that the kids who were skilled had this thing called confidence and believed they could…so they learnt and did.
While I didn’t know back then what self-assurance was, my absence of it was evident. Ironically, one of my teachers identified my lack of confidence early on, while I only recently caught on. Earlier this year I was decluttering at home and came across a report card from 1997, which would be from grade six. In the phys-ed category of the report card my teacher recorded the following:
BOOM! Can I get a mic drop for my grade 6 teacher?
After that bomb, I found another document. This one circa 1998, which would have been grade seven. This was a letter I wrote to myself about my goals for the year. The VERY FIRST goal on my list was “to try and make the track team and lose weight”.
Ok – roughly 12 years old and my first goal for the year was to lose weight?
The root cause of the problem?
Body image and appearance!
As a girl growing up in a society where your BEST quality is considered your appearance, and my appearance was the EXACT OPPOSITE of the ideal woman, my body image prevented me from finding positive qualities within me. Society had planted a seed within my subconscious mind that if I didn’t level up on the outside, obviously I couldn’t level up on the inside and believe in my capacity as a human.
The more I reflect on growing up in the 90s, the more I realize that there was never representation in the media of a female who looked like me. There was nobody for me to idolize and say “hey – if they can, I can.” No singers, actresses, athletes, models – nada – who were fat, had red hair, crooked teeth, braces, freckles and glasses.
While there have been improvements with main stream media being more inclusive of body shape, skin colour, hair colour, hair types, ethnic origins etc., the fact remains that it is not main stream enough…and nothing that was implemented out of desire. It’s really the result of women fighting back for fairer and more realistic representation. There is much more that needs to happen for FULL change. And in the mean time, young girls continue to suffer like I did. And chances are, they are missing out on opportunities to participate in things that interest them; They talk themselves out of things because they identify as different and don’t see how they can.
Frankly, it’s complete bullshit!
I convinced myself FOR YEARS that I was an introvert, that I disliked sports and physical activity. I wouldn’t join any social groups or participate in extra curricular activities in high school or University. I wanted so badly to belong, to be the opposite of different. I didn’t want to open up but I also wanted to be “the cool kid”, have friends and stay out with my friends. I wanted to be seen.
As much as I love reading and writing, I sometimes question if my passion for literature is solely a passion or the result of body image issues that prevented me from finding my confidence in other areas. Had I learnt that my appearance had nothing to do with my capacity to achieve, I could have participated in social clubs, I could have excelled in sport, I could have had a more active lifestyle before 30, I could have had more belief in myself.
Ultimately, the trajectory of my life was changed as a result of perfectionism and negative body image beliefs seeping in at such a young and influential age.
Is any of this resonating with you?
Are there things you have tried, given up on or never tried at all?
Are there things you still want to try that you never have?
These are some of the things I missed out on as a result of society’s ridiculous ideals:
🌺Teamwork and social skills
🌺Participating in sports and social groups
🌺Trying acting classes
🌺Not showing up for myself
These are some of the experiences I had throughout my 20s as a result of my ongoing lack of confidence:
While you can’t go back and reclaim your past, you can certainly claim your future and take control to see that it becomes a reflection of the true YOU. And that is what I finally chose to do. As a result, this is what I now experience in my life:
💗Excessive weight gain
💗Obesity before 30
💗A dead-end career
💗Depression and despondence
💗Low self-worth and no self-esteem
💗Sexualizing myself for attention
💥Self-respect and self-worth
💥Healthy body image
💥Belief in myself
💥Healthy relationships with food
💥Weight lifting and fitness exercises that I enjoy
💥Strong relationships with people
💥The courage to quit my dead-end job & chase passion
💥Becoming an International Best-selling author
💥Advocating for women
💥Speaking on stage and on podcasts
💥Learning, growing and leading
I do believe that growing up with no confidence or mentorship makes it more likely for one to become an underachiever in life. I also believe that you can use a negative start in life as motivation to propel you towards a beautiful ending where you are in control.
If you are a determined woman, prepared to work through your past hurts to transform your mind, body and life, then I invite you to connect with me. You may be the perfect candidate for my new coaching program, MYBody, MYLife. In this program I will support you while we walk together from your past hurts and traumas. I will hold you accountable to show up for yourself EVERY F*ING DAY to ensure your life is fulfilling and joyous from this day forward.
To learn more about Master Your Body - Mindset Coaching and MYBody, MYLife, please go here
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