How Do You Feel About Your Body?

How Do You Feel About Your Body?

When you look at yourself in the mirror, how do you feel about what you see? Why do you feel the way you do about your appearance?

In “5 People Who Can Help You Love Your Body,” Emma Pattee writes about the importance of body positivity:

If you’ve ever been on a diet, you probably told yourself that as soon as you lost those pounds, you’d love your body. Maybe you did actually achieve that goal weight, or maybe you didn’t. But chances are, you didn’t end up with a long-lasting love for the way you look.

Whether it’s weight loss or some other element of your appearance, you shouldn’t wait for some magical change to start loving your body. Loving your body as it is, regardless of your exercise routine or diet is one of those rare “life hacks” that doesn’t have a downside.

But after a lifetime of wanting to be different, suddenly falling in love with what you see in the mirror isn’t so simple. So how do we learn to love our bodies, and who can teach us? Here are five people who have been down this road, learned to love their own bodies, and most importantly, are on a mission to help others learn to love themselves, too.

The ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio suggests:

“When people ask me how they can move their bodies more, I tell them to just start with a walk around the block, and to notice how their feet feel, how their legs feel, how things look and smell. Movement is about so much more than losing weight.”

Megan Jayne Crabbe, an author and influencer, encourages her readers to question why they don’t like their bodies:

“When you think about the first time you thought your body was wrong,” she explained, “most likely you were a young child and the idea that some bodies are good and some are bad was told to you.”

Zach Miko, a model, tells men who want to be more confident in their bodies to stop apologizing for their bodies or making jokes at their own expense:

“Take yourself seriously. Post a photo of yourself doing something you love, or having a great time, and resist the urge to beat people to the joke. Who you are is not a joke.”

The model Mama Cax says:

“I didn’t see body appreciation being shown to people with disabilities or people with scars, so I started sharing my story on Instagram. I was sharing for women who don’t see themselves as beautiful and don’t see their bodies celebrated.”

And the author Jes Baker shares:

“People don’t realize that their obsession with physical health and beauty norms is taking a toll on their mental health,” she said. “What is it costing them to hate their body? Anxiety? Depression? How much happier would they be if they weren’t so focused on how they look? Not to mention the fact that our mental health directly impacts our physical health.”

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

— How do you feel about your body? Are you in love with the image you see in the mirror every day? Or do you tend to pick it apart? Where do you think the beliefs and attitudes you hold about your body came from?

— How much do you think your feelings about your appearance impact your sense of self-worth? Why?

— How often do you see bodies that look like yours in mainstream media? How does this make you feel? In your opinion, how important is it to see a variety of bodies in popular media?

— What role do you think social media plays in how you view your body? Do you mostly follow people who look like you, or people who you want to look like? How do you think this affects your feelings about yourself?

— Ms. Pattee writes: “Loving your body as it is, regardless of your exercise routine or diet is one of those rare ‘life hacks’ that doesn’t have a downside.” Do you agree? How important do you think it is to learn to love the way you look? How might you apply the advice from the article to your own life?

Students 13 and older are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.