Every woman, regardless of her size, has body image issues. But this is especially true for plus-size women. Because women's bodies are constantly scrutinized and commented upon, and Madison Avenue and the media promote unrealistic ideals, how could it be otherwise?
In reality, our bodies - no matter what their shape or size - are wondrous things. They keep us moving through our world, they have an amazing capacity to heal themselves and they are intriguing in their diversity of beauty.
- Take this quiz to discover what your body image says about you:
- 1. Think of three things you love about your body. Okay, how long did
- it take you to come up with your list?
- A. Less than 15 seconds
- B. Under a minute
- C. About five minutes
- D. I'm still thinking
- 2. How often do you weigh yourself?
- A. Never
- B. Once a month
- C. Once a week
- D. Almost every day
- 3. What best describes your thoughts when you stand without clothes in front of a mirror?
- A. "Boy, am I hot, or what?"
- B. "Hmmm... My (body part) is kind of nice."
- C. "I've got to do something about my (body part)."
- D. I would never stand without clothes in front of a mirror
- 4. What are you most likely to wear to a rollicking party?
- A. Something slinky that shows off my curves
- B. An outfit with a fitted silhouette
- C. Something loose and comfortable
- D. An outfit that hides my (body part)
- 5. How often do you choose not to participate in an activity (go to a party or swim, for example) because of your body shape or size?
- A. Never
- B. Rarely
- C. Sometimes
- D. Frequently
- 6. When you make love, do you:
- A. Delight in your partner's enjoyment of your body?
- B. Have fleeting doubts about your attractiveness to your partner?
- C. Cringe when your partner touches your (body part)?
- D. Insist upon turning off the lights first?
- 7. When you receive a compliment about your appearance, do you feel:
- A. Deserving
- B. Flattered
- C. Suspicious
- D. Incredulous
- 8. What is your response when a friend or co-worker complains about how fat she is?
- A. "Get over it!"
- B. "You look terrific to me."
- C. "I know exactly what you mean."
- D. "Let's join that new diet center tomorrow."
- Add up your total number of points, according to the following scale:
- A = 6 points, B = 4 points, C = 2 points and D = 0 points.
Body Politic: You go, girl! You've overcome the negativity in the world around you and are proud of your curves. Your confidence and your determination to live your life fully are admirable. Maybe you should consider writing a book, giving a workshop or finding other ways to share your success with those who struggle with body image issues.
25 - 39 points:
Body Beautiful: Virtually everyone has days when they feel less than attractive, but you're well on your way to loving every inch of your beautiful body. Remember to give yourself a break and take a look at the marvellous variety of body types around you. Think about the aspects of your body you with which you are less than pleased, and come up with affirmations to counteract the negative thoughts you might have. Stand in front of a mirror twice a day and repeat the affirmations - you'll eventually believe them!
10 - 24 points:
Body Shop: You need to do some repairs to your body image. Start focusing on the positive instead of the negative, and remember that your self-esteem is linked to the way you perceive your body. Don't let the way you feel about your body prevent you from getting all you want out of life. Take the time to look your very best and drink in the compliments of those around you. Remind yourself that you deserve the accolades, and replay them in your mind when you're feeling negative. Eventually, you'll begin to believe your own press!
9 points or less:
Body Blow: Life is too short to feel so badly about your body. You need to understand that your body, with all its seeming "imperfections" is a miracle. Try and open yourself to the possibility that you are fine just the way you are. Read related books, see a therapist that specializes in body image issues and seek support from friends in your journey. It takes work to get to a place of self-acceptance, but the rewards are immeasurable.