In this episode, Jodie discusses body image with her guests. How are we affected, at what age are we exposed to body image ideals and how can we feel more comfortable in our own skin.
Thank you to the people who contributed to this episode:
Sara Marsden-Shreeve from The Image Tree
You can find Jodie at jodiepaterson.com
The blog post associated with this episode will be up shortly.
If you’re looking for urgent help with your body image issues, you can reach out to these people:
Hello, and welcome to How Do You Mind the podcast talks about mental well being and self care. I'm your host, Jodie Paterson. And today we're going to be talking about body image. With the rise of technology giving us instant access to the photos we take, we now have the option to take as many photos as we like, until we find the perfect one. trying out different poses until we find the right angle, or going one step further, and heavily editing our photos. With apps like Instagram and Snapchat, we have easy access to photo filters that can drastically change our appearance, often in very realistic ways. Even the silly filters, you know, like the one with the dog ears and the tongue, they can change the way our faces look, I am actually making a documentary but high voltage filters can affect our body image. So stay tuned for that, that will be out in the next couple months. body image issues can affect anyone. And chances are that the perfect Instagram model that you're looking at has their own body image issues with weight and appearance. I spoke to my friend Julie about the body image issues she faces.
Oh, definitely. Yeah, I still don't view my body has as it is. My whole body, you know, my face? it, I just feel I think it comes down to as well gonna be traced back to you know, school or, you know, the best crystallization I can have it is Who was this secret sharing site asked me anything more or asked me something. And I remember that query say a comment. Julie nice girl agrees, although colored my whole not that the rules and other things have just been the best crystalline example. Perfect because, yeah, I just don't think I'm, you know, I see my friends and I see your everyone around me as good looking. But I genuinely am to the point that I genuinely think it looks like there's something not right with the way I look like, I feel. And I this is I don't know that I feel as though I feel I'm probably pretty close to how someone with a disfigurement would feel like, I honestly feel like there's something so wrong, the way I looked at, it's not just the kind of what I just don't look like, it's like, I just don't look, it's like, no, there's something actively wrong with how I look. And I it's a really messed up thing. And then my body, you know, my weight and everything I I work out, and I'm going to be honest, most of it is is about looking a certain way. It's I mean, I tried to have goals. So to try and combat that I have goals, like I want to be able to do a pull up, you know, and that's my, that's a more healthy way to look at it. COVID, put a bit of a tight leash on Naxos kind of making progress using certain things in the gym, to try and get to that level. And then the lack of gym, the lack of motivation. I kept working out but it's gone back to the whole. So one thing, thing, and I'm probably the thinnest I've ever been. And I still feel like, you know, I'm not, I'll never be thin enough. Like, I didn't know I was maybe in that period where I've never been to that like pro and I've got a long period of time where I would like look up pictures of, you know, those those pictures and be like, that. That's what I should look like, basically. I know that's so unhealthy. I know, there's so many health issues that come with that. Like, I wouldn't wish that on anybody. I don't really wish that myself. But I just felt like I'm meant to be. I'm meant to be a skinny girl. But I'm not that I think that's just society. And it's just how we're sure that I do know logically say what I tell myself. We were talking about this the other day with a mate of mine. But at the end of the day, Kim Kardashian West is paid millions of dollars to look like that. As a Victoria's Secret model. What's great is when you can see on YouTube, a lot of the women who are models for them will upload how I get into shape for this and they'll show you and it's a lot of times a lot of effort. It's a lot of money. And I don't have any of that why I Why did I hold myself to that standard when these women are actually being paid for that is literally your whole job. They're being paid millions of dollars for this every single year. And, you know, I truly I'm a student, but of course I can't compete with that, but I still feel like I should look like that. Well, I don't think that's crazy. That's that's so not right. But it definitely there are Yes, underlies a lot of things.
Society. I think it's the same with men as well. Like, you see these people going into Marvel films right? And they get really buff and it's like okay, but they were paid. Probably millions of dollars to do that.
I guarantee you if you're looking at if I'm looking at a very skinny girl going, I wish I looked like her. She's looking at me, girl, we should have boobs. It's just cocked to other women, talk to other people, talk to other men, talk to everybody. And be honest, be like, I think you look fantastic. Because I guarantee you that person probably doesn't. Even if they think you, you think they think about themselves, most of the time they don't.
It's the same, like people with curly hair tend to want straight hair. And people with straight hair tend to want curly hair. And it's like, You're beautiful the way you are. And if you want to curl your hair, that's great. But you don't have to do that to look like that. There's no pressure on you. Other than self pressure.
Yes, exactly. It's always just coming from your own head, it's very easy to get completely caught up. And
we are constantly shown the perfect bodies. And this isn't just on social media. We see it in music, videos, films, TV shows, even adverts on the street, they show us these hard to achieve bodies along with the sexualization of young people. I spoke to my friends kaseya about this, here's what she had to say. So when a celebrity, for example, puts up a selfie that is heavily edited, do you think that would affect what their viewer thinks about themselves.
Oh definitely, if you see, I think a really good example of that. The problem that the most basic is I might think of is like Kylie and Kendall Jenner and stuff the Kardashians, how they're fools are like, really, really edited. But women then I mean, particularly women, men will do this with other celebrities as well, I'm sure. But like, you feel like you should be able to look like that. And if you look at, you know, an actual full of Kylie Jenner, it looks nothing like she does on her instagram photos. Because it's all edited, you know, and she's she's had plastic surgery done also, you know, we know that she's had stuff like lip fillers and that type of thing. So the standard that they're portraying to you is not something you can achieve you and that's just not how it works. This is what I look like, personally, you know, I'm never gonna look like that I could buy all of the all of her makeup and all of their clothing or whatever, but you know, you're just not going to look like that. And I'd actually recommend if, if you're on Reddit, to have a look at Instagram reality is a subreddit, which you'll they'll show you some really bad examples of it, where people have like, you know, the the wall behind them is curved with their butt or their waist, or, you know, they have these like, like, totally like, like stretched like cheeks, you that's just not proportionate or tiny head on this body. And because that's how people feel like they have to represent themselves, I think, particularly on Instagram, where it's a very, like, the format is positive snapshots of your life. You know, it's not even as much of a realistic representation as would be Facebook for you. You just kind of I don't know, I think it's very propped up on Instagram, you know, to get your your photos, right.
And I think as well, um, on Instagram is about getting the likes and getting the following. And, yeah, that's a huge influence in what people are putting out there.
When you think of an influencers, Instagram, that's the platform, isn't it? You know, like, that's where people, people see that as something that they want to emulate, I guess?
Yeah. No, I think it's, as you were saying, a couple questions ago, societal pressure, is that kind of this is what the standard is, why are you not reaching it? But we're gonna get to ourselves. It's like you say,
yeah, it's not like some people who maybe don't experience that pressure or don't think it's as much of a thing as it is, they'll turn around and say, Well, no, like, nobody's told you, you have to look like that. Nobody said to you that you have to be assigned zero. But it doesn't, it doesn't have to directly be saying that you're free to feel that pressure. If that's all you ever see. As I guess it's kind of the same, like how, you know, advertising, it's very like sexualized. Nobody's actually telling you that being like, portraying yourself in a sexualized manner is positive. But when that's all you see, you don't even think about it. You know, that's how it should be. If you want to look nice, you should be showing off some of your body. Why, you know, it doesn't really make sense. But that's that's the idea that we're given.
You know, the britney spears and the Miley Cyrus isn't the our undergrads. They've got such a specific like, Luke about them that people are seeing on a daily basis whether they want to or not, yeah, music videos advertisements. I know Britney Spears isn't as prominent No, but she was in back in the 90s and early 2000s. And it's like, so hard to get away from that.
Well, I mean, if you think about
the controversy around like, little mix, the like sort of teen girl bond where,
Yeah, they are.
They are over Like sexual and adult are sexualized. And I don't think that that's necessarily a bad thing. But at the same time, there are a lot of really young girls who want to dress up like them. And there's maybe not always like, appropriate because they don't understand what it is that they're emulating. You know, they don't understand how it's sexualized, they just see their idols doing something and they want to do it. And then we're kind of projecting that on to like small children. And I think it makes a lot of people uncomfortable to see kids sexualized in that way, even if they're doing it to themselves technically,Jodie:
you know, think a huge part of that is a little mix, know who their audiences they know, he's saying that they're watching them every night, but they're still. I mean, I know they've got management and all of that telling them, you should do this because it's popular, it will help you get ahead, but that is a choice that they're still making, you know, I think that's when it becomes quite, not dangerous, but it becomes quite society acceptable.Katja:
It becomes even more ingrained if you do it from a young age. I mean, I don't use Tick Tock at all myself. I tried to get into the pandemic, it's not for me. But I know I've heard of a lot of the sort of trends catching on among younger, younger people, and it's older, that not even like older women, but like like girls who are like 18 or early 20s or whatever are doing kind of like sexualized tik tok dances and stuff. And then younger girls are taking that over because it's a trend on tik tok that they've been seeing. And again, it just, they don't understand what it is they're doing, but the audience that's watching them does so you end up getting, you know, a lot of creeps on tik tok, or maybe watching an 11 year olds in crop tops and shorts doing sexualized dances. And well, I'm not against that happening. You know, if your kid wants to dance in their underwear, that is totally fine. There's nothing inherently sexual about it. But displaying it in that way, and then posting it online is inviting a lot of unwanted attention, I guess, you know, it's putting your kids in a sort of dangerous, uncomfortable position where they are sexualizedJodie:
100%. And I think it's important at this stage to point out that men are also affected by these issues. I've only had two women talking about this, because the men that I know are more shy. But with films like Magic Mike, showing these muscley bodies that are quite hard to attain without discipline in the gym. It can be really hard for men, I don't have the answer to fix body image issues. Believe me, I wish I did. I do it for myself. I got Sara from the image streets talk about how you can feel more comfortable in your own skin.Sara:
Hi, my name is Sara Marsden-Shrieve. And I'm on holistic image consultant coach and body positive advocate for eight years now. And my main purpose my Ikigai for life is to help women overcome their self image struggles by nurturing a positive mindset, embracing the body that they have, and reconnecting with their clothes and the wardrobe. So that way they can get on with their passions in life with fresh, new confidence. If I can do it, you can do it. My business is the image tree based in Derbyshire. And I've been going for eight years now. And I offer online consultations, one to one services as well as style packages. And I also love a crystal. So I have a style additions shop as well. I'm hoping to do free five day challenge in May. So I look forward to connecting with you on there. Or, alternatively, I'm on the usual social media channels. So just look for the image tree on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. So Jodie's asked me to answer the question, how can we feel more comfortable in our skin. So I'm going to give you my top five tips to getting started on your body positive journey. Number one, it's not a race, and it takes time. It takes patience. And it's all about valuing yourself, respecting yourself and your body as being enough just to begin with. body positivity doesn't happen overnight. And it's just about taking the time to make the first step by just being okay. Number two, be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening. That's a quote by Lisa Hayes. That rings true. So you've got it's helpful to be mindful of those, that negative self talk, whether it's that inner critic you have when you're holding a conversation in your head when you're looking in the mirror All while they were engaged in those conversations with our family, friends and our children about ourselves, we are listening. So we have to be mindful of that. If you wouldn't say to a friend, please don't say to yourself.Sara:
Number three, start to embrace the body you have now start seeing it through eyes of wonder. The body is an amazing thing. And it's full of miracles. So seeing it through the eyes of wonder, look for the good stuff both inside and out that you have to offer, you're more than a number on a scale, you certainly more than a nose, a squishy tummy, a dimple thigh, or a scar. These do not define you solely as a person. And you know what the people who love you see you as a much bigger picture. They see you as a wife, a mom, a sister, daughter, best friend, and they saw you as a valuable and most definitely worthy human being. So start looking for the good stuff that you have, other than just your aesthetics or your physical appearances. Because let's be honest, for years, and years and years, that's all we've looked at. And we forget about the other stuff that we have to offer. Number four, be wary of the comparison trap, you know, the photographs, the magazines, the movies, the selfies that took 100 goes, you don't see all that behind the scenes. Most of them are photoshopped or professionally architected images, you know, with stylists, makeup, lighting, and such. The girl in the picture doesn't look like the girl in the picture. Most of the time, it's all been helped. And it's all been made to look really beautiful. So just remember that they're not true to life, half the time, and you're not seeing the whole story behind a person's life, you're not going to see the pain, you don't know about the relationship problems or what else is going on, it's just a picture. Try to remember that when you stop comparing your body to somebody else's, or your looks to somebody else's. Instead, I would say focus on your own journey and see how far you've come and grown, you know, and seek out positive people who reinforce the body image, the body positive movement, Ted Talks, Manuel's Megan J. Crap, there's loads of ladies out there of different ages and different backgrounds that have all learned to love themselves a little bit more, just from the start just from the get go. So be mindful of that. And number five, reconnect with your clothes and your wardrobe. They are your friends. And listen, it's not just about wearing clothes and going out, we can't all walk around naked. So the thing is, if you look in your wardrobe, they're full of your friends. They're full of happy memories, the full confidence boosters, and they're even full of mood lifting qualities, color pattern fit, where you're more than what they were for. It should be opening the doors to a party where all your favorite people are invited, okay? If there's anything you wardrobe that doesn't work or fill you with joy, as Marie Kondo would say get rid, okay, clothes can be friends. And it's all about working with your body, and showing the whole world who you are through them, your wardrobe, your personality that should synchronize ideally, and that way you can learn to love your body and why you're happy. So they're the first five things, if I can do it, you can do it. And there's so much more to learn. It really is a journey of self care, acceptance and respect. Because at the end of the day, you are enough,Jodie:
there are places that you can reach out to if you're struggling. I've actually put a list of places you can seek out to get help with this in the description of this podcast episode. Please check them out if you are struggling. And please, please, please reach out to someone if you are facing body image issues because it's affecting your mental health. So much more than you realize. I've written more about body image over on my blog, jodiepaterson.com I got some bloggers to write about how they think social media affects body image and how they think we can combat this. So really great posts, you should check it out now. And that is all for this episode. Thank you for tuning in. If you like what you hear, you could support us and buy me a coffee that'll be linked in the description. If you have any topics you'd like me to cover, please reach out to me at HowDoYouMindpodcast@gmail.com. Other than that, Have a nice week and I'll catch you next time.
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