Is The ‘Love Your Body’ Movement Contributing To Our Poor Body Image?


Is Loving Our Bodies Doing Us More Harm Than Good?


Women face enormous pressure from the media to look a certain way. We’re constantly bombarded with doctored images of ‘ideal femaleness’ that are unrealistic and not representative of all types of femininity.

What’s emerged from these pressures is a ‘counter-movement’ of sorts. It’s a movement promotes messages like ‘Love Your Body’ and ‘Love The Skin You’re In’ to encourage women to embrace their appearance regardless of their body shape and weight. The ‘Love Your Body’ movement is everywhere – it’s used in advertising and it’s ever present on social media.

On the surface the ‘Body Love’ movement seems like a good thing, but it still encourages an unreasonable focus on body shape and weight. I also worry about the fact that the ‘Love Your Body’ movement inadvertently places additional pressure on women. Aren’t we now just demanding that women have iron-clad self-esteem and never waver in their love for their bodies? Isn’t this just another unachievable standard for women to struggle to live up to?

So what’s the solution or middle-ground? It’s hard to say. Perhaps it’s about body acceptance – accepting the fact that your thoughts and feelings about your body will inevitably change and shift throughout the day and throughout your life. But maybe what it all boils down to is this: as women, our bodies are one aspect of our humanness, but we’re so much more than our appearance. Let’s not make it our focus.

Brittany McGill is a clinical psychologist who completed her postgraduate clinical training at the University of New South Wales. She is interested in anxiety and mood disorders across the lifespan and uses cognitive-behavioural and other evidence-based strategies to help people achieve positive change in their lives.


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