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Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Body image. If you're like me, you heard this phrase a lot throughout high school – we had people give speeches and lectures on the importance of having a healthy body image, telling us to fight peer pressure, stay confident, and be happy with ourselves. But what does all of this really mean?

 

I suppose it's considered to be more of a problem in some social circles than others – there seems to be a cliché of the 'popular' girls eating little to stay skinny, and the 'cool' guys spending their lives in the gym to stay big – but the truth is, anyone can suffer from an unhealthy view of their bodies. Male, female, or otherwise, we're all subject to a level of self-scrutiny, and when this self-scrutiny becomes an obsession, it can be both physically and mentally dangerous for a person.

 

Why is body image such an issue in young people today? Many have attempted to provide reasons. For girls, constantly viewing models and actresses with super-thin bodies, feeling pressured to look 'good' for guys, and even pressure from their own friends are all potential problems. For guys, sports stars and male models with muscular bodies are considered the norm, and they too feel pressured to appeal to women and their friends alike.

 

The sad truth is, insecurity seems to be on the rise, and there doesn't seem to be any way of minimising the powerful images that young people constantly face. The bottom line is, maybe that speaker in high school was right – we do need to be aware of peer pressure, and we have to realise that not all people are built the same way. There is no true 'superior' body type – in fact, the favoured type has changed frequently throughout history – and as such, we need to learn to be happy with the body we have. It does the job.

 

Looking to chat with like-minded young people about body image, and discuss ways in which we can negative self-thoughts? Join in our Getting Real session on Monday 3rd at 8PM EST, right here in the Reach Out forums!

 

For more information, check out our fact sheets on body image: http://au.reachout.com/Wellbeing/Personal-Identity/Body-image

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Hi everyone and welcome to tonight's Getting Real session on BODY IMAGE !

 

We all come in different shapes and sizes and so it’s important we talk about the way we and others may perceive them and how this can link to our self-esteem. The session will be facilitated by Magga, Sophie and yours truly, fosterthepeople.

If you feel upset at all during the discussion remember that there are people you can talk to including Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. There’s also an emergency Help tab in the top right corner of this page (the yellow one). Also keep the Community Guidelines in mind so that we can keep the discussion on track and useful for everyone.

The first question is:

 

Tell us one thing about your body that you like. Do you find it easier to name the things you like or don't like?

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Hey all! Welcome Smiley Happy

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Hey Guys!

 

The first question is: Tell us about one thing about your body that you like. Do you find it easier to name the things you like or don't like?

That's a tough one :smileyfrustrated:. My ectomorph body type I guess, since I don't really have to watch what I eat.

Muuch easier to name things I don't like.

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Hey all! I've always worked pretty hard to build positive body image - but it can be hard work and on a bad day it's easier to name the things I don't like. I like my...... eyes!! legs!! tattoos!!

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Hey Michine! thanks for joining us! Yea I think we all know in theory we shouldn't worry about our bodies but there are so many things that reinforce to us about what we shouldn't like!!

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Hey michine! 
I agree, I think people tend to find it easier to name things they don't like about themselves...

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

hi michine

as a pretty lean person myself i really do enjoy the benefit of eating as much as i can without dramatic changes to my body shape and number. the downfall is - i can't seem to gain weight.

it's kinda like a reflex to just list the bad things isn't it ? i personally like my legs. my arms and belly could do for a bit of work i think. just a little work.

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Thanks guys! Alright, let's move on...next question:

 

What is your definition of body image? Do you have positive or negative body image?

Re: Positive bodies: avoiding thinspo and bigorexia

Hey guys!

 

In high school we had to do an activity where we listed the things we liked and didn't like about ourselves. It was kind of sad how big our 'don't like' lists were in comparison to our 'likes'. But then we passed sheets around and wrote things that we liked about other people, and it was cool to see that sometimes the things we disliked about ourselves were the things that other people really liked.

 

I really like my eyes because they change colour.