Monday, June 2, 2014

Do You See What I See? - The Link Identifying Women, Beauty, and Body Image

What image do you see whenever you look at yourself in the mirror?

Do you see a beautiful, self-possessed, and confident woman eager to live life and ever-ready to face whatever challenge life has to offer? Or do you see an unattractive female full of self-doubt and so conspicuously flawed that she could hardly stand the sight of her horrid reflection?

Since time immemorial, the connotative reference of beauty to women and vice-versa has ingrained the universal idea implying the need for women to become physically appealing creatures. In effect, it could not be helped that majority of women have an inherent tendency to become partially but frequently preoccupied with issues concerning their physical appearance. Our body image-how we see ourselves physically-performs an integral part in how we interact and present ourselves to the world at large. It determines our level of self-esteem which in turn affects the manner and extent of our performance in our daily functions and social interactions.

Analyzing the reflections we see in our minds

The body image we have of ourselves has little to do with the actual quality or state of our physical features. Even a woman possessed with drop-dead gorgeous looks can have a poor body image if she sees herself as unattractive every time she faces the mirror. This is explained by the primary factors determining body image: our thoughts and feelings about ourselves based on our physical appearances.

Having a poor body image impacts our way of life. As in most cases, women these days are driven to undergo rigorous exercises, fad diets, and various cosmetic surgeries in pursuit of physical beauty. The non-verbally imposed standards of beauty prevalently determined by a variety of current social and commercial factors made popular through media have led women to assess their appearances in accordance to them. As a result, almost half of the entire female population in modern societies these days either overestimate their body size or underestimate their physical attractiveness; worse, they could be controlled by both self-deprecating perceptions. As such, allowing these ideas to take hold and sink in could make us feel depressed and anxious to the point of coming down with psychological illnesses requiring antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications.

Seeing our true reflections

With the powerful influence of media, detaching ourselves from these controlling notions surrounding "ideal beauty" can be hard. But since our minds are ours to control, we are still in full possession of every right and power to dictate the manner in which we see ourselves. Focusing on the wonderful things our bodies are capable of is particularly helpful. Moreover, bearing in mind that our physicality only takes up a small fraction of our entirety keeps us grounded on the truth that our personalities and minds make up more than half of who we truly are. Determining beauty would always be reliant on the personal opinion and assessment of the one looking at us. And the most important person whose opinion and assessment of our beauty would figure greatly more than anyone else's is none other than ourselves. In the end, seeing and accepting ourselves as the beautiful women we truly are, are our most commendable features that really deserve far more than just a passing glance.