What Causes Body Image Issues?

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What and who causes us to have body image issues?

This post will focus on anti-fat bias and fatphobia. TL;DR It's not you that's the problem, it's peers, family, society, and the media we consume (Maybe it's all of the above? Or more?!). This has been an issue repeating itself through generations, so we are not actually putting blame on your peers or family members per se because they may not have started it, rather they may be continuing to be a part of anti-fat bias that they too grew up with, were conditioned with, and experienced.

Who did you watch growing up?

We are easily influenced...

Definition of influenced: to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone.

What you see and hear

Being criticised for your appearance, being surrounded by people placing an emphasis on appearing a certain shape or size, or hearing others talk about dieting and body dissatisfaction all have consequences on how we perceive ourselves and others.

Our society has a lot of anti-fat bias

Have you been told that it's about concerns for your health or risk of obesity?

It's not your fault: Here's what research tells us - over 90% of people who diet gain it back.

  • Diets do not work. They do often lead to disordered eating and a problematic relationship with food.
  • Eating less than what your body needs is putting your body into starvation mode.
  • Diet culture creates guilt and shame around eating.
  • The weight loss industry makes $$$

BMI is not accurate

BMI (Body mass index) is not an accurate measurement of body fat, and weight bias is commonly experienced at health visits which affects the standard of care a person may receive - often being dismissed.

Someone can be fat and fit. Physical activity has many benefits to one's overall health that is not dependent on their thinness.

Often people will hear claims that someone isn't being fatphobic, and then they continue to say hurtful and harmful things that is definitely anti-fat bias.

Go and follow some accounts who speak more on this topic. Share your faves in the comments

I've put a lot of time into unlearning a lot of what has harmed me and what I am making sure to do my best not to pass on to my children, and to be honest not to continue doing to myself either. As a professional this also comes up a lot in my counselling sessions with clients.

My best advice is to follow specifically those who share their real bodies and a variety of how bodies look online on social media, and especially those who openly talk about and take the time to educate on these topics.

The more you see every which way a body can look, the better it is. My perception has changed so much now and I'm much kinder to myself too and I see so much beauty in others.

Screw the nonsense 'societal standards' of beauty. I'm not participating in that any longer and I'm not accepting throw-away words like 'health' or 'obesity' as someone's one-way ticket to say whatever they like about me or someone else's body. People exist in different bodies.

You don't have permission to comment on anyone's body.

*Disclaimer: this is a single blog post that will not be able to cover all of the nuances on this topic and other related topics. Any comments that are fatphobic or anti-fat bias will be deleted, please consider if your comment is hurtful or harmful before posting because despite whatever your intention may be the impact is still the same negative one.

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