The fashion/entertainment media is constantly criticized for pushing negative body images (unrealistic altered images of women) but the fitness industry is so much worst. Just yesterday I came across a
fitness site that had all these pics of what a sexy woman
is supposed to look like and a few other pics of women that are not sexy. One of the women in the not-sexy category had my exact body with a caption reading "skinny fat".
Now in my 20's that would have made me feel bad about myself and it would have made me think that I wasn't working out hard enough or eating clean enough and that I would never look fit or sexy enough no matter how hard I worked but my body image has improved much since then...So the only thing that annoyed me about what those fitness chics said about my body was the incorrect use of the term skinny fat.
See as a fitness professional with years of experience helping normal women lose fat and weight, it's very easy to disregard the opinions of fitness chics who abuse steroids, and resort to obsessive compulsive starvation dieting, over training, and dangerous supplements just so they can build ripped torsos that make them look like mini-men.
This is not natural or even sane behavior by any health and fitness standards and is just as unhealthy as starving so your ribs show.
Basically what these girls do to look ripped is exactly what skeletal models do and that makes it very easy to ignore the negative body images they put out disguised as fitspiration.
This new propaganda you see everywhere that we are all supposed to look like the girl in the red sports bra pictured here is supposedly a better "body ideal" than the skinny look that fashion magazines have featured for decades but the reality is that these new "ideals" of muscle and bodyfat percentage for women, are just as unrealistic as what you see in fashion magazines.
In fact they contribute to MORE negative body images, obsessive compulsive dieting and body dysmorphic disorders than the fashion industry ever has.
According to a study in Eating Disorders, "Competitive female bodybuilders reported more binge eating behaviors, were more overly concerned with body weight and shape, had more strict dieting habits, were more dissatisfied with their bodies, exercised more vigorously and had a higher rate of anabolic steroid use than did recreational lifters although they too have a higher prevalence of some of these things than the general population."
But perhaps what becomes more apparent from these study findings is that "You can tell more about a person by what she says about others than you can by what others say about her."
In other words, all those hateful things that fitness chics say about healthy normal women is a reflection of their own body dissatisfaction and body image issues which makes it even easier to disregard their negative body image propaganda.
The truth is that self esteem, body image, and body confidence is not something you get by achieving random body numbers or a certain look or the latest beauty or fitness standards.
According to a research study "in 8 out of 10 cosmetic surgery practices, former patients had developed post-traumatic stress and disappointment, anxiety and depression were the most frequently seen psychological problems,’ says a report, published in the journal, Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery." reports Daily Mail
"5 other large-scale, independent studies, found that the suicide rate is up to three times higher in women who have had breast implants and the toll is not only restricted to suicides — cosmetic surgery patients had a three-times higher rate of death due to self-destructive acts, such as binge-drinking, drug overdoses and reckless driving." reports Daily Mail
So feeling good about your body or your appearance really has little to do with your appearance. Having a body you feel good about can help improve body confidence but positive body image and self esteem are really a result of positive attitude and positive thoughts about yourself.
It is your own thoughts about your body that determine whether you have positive or negative body images. What the media or other women dictate is attractive, beautiful, or sexy is only an issue when you allow it to be one...
And the more you let go of other people's ideals and standards the easier it will become to develop your own beauty and body ideals based on your own positive thoughts and body images.
Having your own ideals is really the secret to better body image, positive self esteem and body confidence.
"True sexiness has many facets. The elements include things like confidence, strength, intelligence, and humor" Dita Von Teese
"Don't be fooled by beauty for the things that are seen are only for a moment." Amber Rose
"There's all different types of models, and there are also plus models as well. But the majority is skinny. And it's controlled by the fashion industry.
I never did catwalk work because I was always too big. I couldn't get the clothes over my hips but my career never suffered from my not being skinny." Heidi Klum
There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your female body shape and get your best body ever but you will only achieve your best body goals when you start from a more positive place of self acceptance.
As a very smart man once said: “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” Steve Maraboli