Body image and self confidence
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the prettiest of them all...You!
Do you feel you are too fat or too skinny, too tall or very short to even be noticed? Do you get sad about your skin colour every time you see a fairness cream commercial? Have you tried a range of cosmetic products only to lose hope? Has your self-confidence been affected severely because of your looks? At the risk of sounding like another cosmetic commercial- we have a solution to your "ugliness" problem.
Imagine living in a house with crumbling walls, chipping paint, broken flooring etc. for your entire life. How would it feel? That’s exactly how it feels like to live in a body that you don’t like. What we then do with this house is keep coating the outer layer with layers and layers of paint and other sorts of beautification techniques, while the inside is still rotting. It is important to realise that it’s not possible to change the house, and beautifying the exterior is pointless as you live in the inside, however it is working on the interior that is the hardest part, but it’s the only way to contentment with self, self-confidence and happiness.
Body image does not imply how you look; it implies how you think you look. When they say 'beauty lies in the eye of the beholder' it couldn't be truer. We often see that people who don’t confine to the general norms of beauty are often perceived as prettier than people who do; they might also be more satisfied with their looks than the latter and have more self-confidence. Why does this happen? It happens because there is no objective definition of beauty; cultures vary largely on the idea of beauty, and every single individual all the more. In essence we can safely say that everyone is beautiful, because everyone will fit into atleast one another person’s idea of beauty.
The sad fact however, is that at times we become our worst critics. We become our worst enemies. And the irony is that we expect appreciation from others when we don’t appreciate ourselves. We desperately look for validation from others to tell us that we are pretty and what we believe about ourselves is not true. And the funny thing is that when someone actually does it, we don't believe them. There is no worst damage that we can do to ourselves and our self-confidence than getting stuck in this cycle.
So then what can be done? There is only one way, and that is to open our eyes to the beauty that we have. Now we cannot suddenly make ourselves believe that we are beautiful. Finding satisfaction with the way you look is a process, it is a part of the process of self-discovery and leads to self-confidence. Usually it is beneficial to take help from a professional in the process. It is not an easy goal to unlearn years of negative beliefs about oneself and convert them into positive ones. But once it has been done there is nothing more important to your well-being and self-confidence than that, it is definitely worth the effort.
The Clinical Psychologists at Ramdhar Maheshwari Counselling Centre (RMCC) can help individuals identify, understand, and develop skills to resolve their personal concerns. Counselling is an educational process which enables an individual to learn more about him or herself. It is a chance to talk over what is on your mind with an objective person who can help you learn new skills and new ways of looking at various situations, so that you will be more capable of solving future problems on your own.
And when you start seeing yourself as pretty, the smile that it will radiate on your face will make everyone else find you pretty, and voila you’ll have become beautiful without any cosmetics, fairness creams or plastic surgeries!- Anugrah Edmonds, Counseling Psychologist.