Body image is how we think and feel about ourselves physically and how we believe others see us. Sometimes we like our bodies or parts of our bodies and other times we struggle with how we look. Body image is not always about weight. It can include comparison to friends and social media, struggles in loving and accepting your body, hiding because you feel ashamed of how you look, struggling to find clothes that fit your body type, embarrassed of scars, birthmarks acne and much more.

There are multiple things that influence our body image; comments from friends and family about the way we look, the media promoting a certain body type with little to no representation of different body types, social media promoting what the perfect body should be like etc..

Struggles with body image can seriously affect your mental health. It makes everyday tasks like eating, dressing, going out with friends become more difficult. Sometimes going through puberty makes it worse because during this time your body releases hormones that make you more aware of how you look. Issues with body image can lead to low self esteem, depression, anxiety, isolation, eating disorders and constantly obsessing over how you look.

Many people struggle with body image, so if you are going through it, you are not alone. With so many people and things dictating how we should look, it can get very confusing. However, there are only two opinions that should matter when it comes to how you view yourself; God and you. Ephesians 2:10 and Psalms 139:13-18 tell us that we are God’s masterpiece and that He took His time in creating us. Every fibre in our bodies is complexly knitted in our mother’s womb by God. The same God who made the beautiful trees and flowers also made you and He took more time with you. Ultimately, the most important thing to God is the appearance of our heart. He has already made you beautiful however, he is more interested in making your heart resemble His own (1 Samuel 16:7, 1Timothy 4:8).

There are things you can do to help with the way you view your body; you can check if social media is affecting the way you feel about your body. If it is, you might want to reconsider how much time you spend on it. You can focus on the things you like about yourself; be thankful for those things that make you look different from everyone else. You can also talk to someone you trust that about your struggles and lastly, meditate on scripture and always remember how God views you.

Claud Jaiyeola

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