The beginner’s guide to body confidence.
Doing a Google search of the terms 'body confidence' reveals 82 million hits, while the search terms 'definition of body confidence' reveals only 16 million hits, with not one single definition of body confidence. Not joking.
This means that although no one has yet defined what body confidence actually is, everyone wants it. It’s like the fashion de jour. But… it’s also like the emperor has no clothes, meaning – it’s got to take someone to speak the truth and blast through the bull$hit that everyone wants what no one can define… so let me step up to the mic.
Body confidence is difficult to define because body confidence will mean so many things to so many people.
For example, does it mean:
· being happy with your body?
· accepting your body?
· not hating your body?
· being happy at any size?
· getting surgery to like your body?
· Losing weight to love your body?
As you can see - body confidence is… #COMPLICATED.
To cut a long story short, it took me years, but I've finally developed a (working) definition of body confidence (you gotta start somewhere!). I developed it by breaking it down into simple parts and looking at individual components:
BODY: a physical structure, including the bones, flesh, and organs, of a person or an animal. (This is fairly clear, right?)
CONFIDENCE: a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. (Much less clear, so let’s break it down further).
FEELING: an emotional state or reaction to something.
ABILITY: a talent or skill in a particular area.
QUALITY: a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something.
(Now we're getting somewhere).
"Body confidence is not relying on your appearance but rather focusing on both your body and mind’s abilities and your distinctive appearance characteristics for your confidence." - Katherine Iscoe
As you can see, body confidence is complicated because I believe it has little to do with your appearance and more to do with your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about your abilities and distinctive (i.e. individual) appearance.
The complicated bit is that your thoughts, feelings and beliefs will not only be individual but influenced by anything from your past experiences to social factors, to the culture you live in. Meaning: different for everyone.
Body confidence is as unique as your DNA.
Still not sold, are you? I get it. You’re still in the mindset of ‘I need to love the appearance of my body to be body confident.’ I get why, I was in that mindset too for years upon years, and indeed,
I’m not going to deny that appearance is an important aspect of self-esteem.
But let me ask you this: how’s that working out for you? That is, relying on your appearance for your confidence?
Fact is if you haven’t yet become body confident from losing weight or tightening up your toosh, don’t you think it’s time to do things a bit differently?
Fact is, issues with body confidence are not the same with issues with body weight.
Written with love, as always, Dr Kat x