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Spring has come and summer is soon to arrive.  Warmer temperatures, brighter colors, lighter fabrics, shorter dresses, bikinis and mini skirts…oh my!!!

I’m feeling exposed!

We have all felt the difficulties of transitioning from winter layers and dark colored wardrobes, to peeling off the layers, and revealing our bodies.  Spring and summer seasons tend to bring on anxiety for women who struggle with body image issues.  Body image is the perception an individual has of their physical self as compared to societal standards, norms and role models.  The role models, women choose to idolize, are a trap in which we all fall into.  Why do we compare ourselves to very young, extremely thin models, that work at being beautiful full-time or Hollywood celebrities who pay professional teams to create their desired body image.

The average height for American women is 5’ 4” tall and the average dress size is 12 to 14, as compared to models who are on average a 0 to 2 dress size and are 6 feet tall.  In our efforts to imitate these role models or meet expectations for women set up by a youth oriented society, we develop negative opinions and impressions of ourselves.  We are mentally and emotionally forced to chase an illusion that is not practical, and unrealistic to achieve.  We crash diet, crash work out, and are willing to wear things that don’t suit our bodies or our age, simply because it’s trendy.

 When you look in the mirror what do you see?

In order for us to change our perception and standards for body image, we must begin with recognizing and accepting our body type.  We must acknowledge what is not in our control, such as genetics and developmental body changes.  We need to embrace our imperfections and work with them, within the choices of healthy eating, regular exercise and a fashion sense that works for us.  Choosing more realistic role models, or better yet, making ourselves our own role model will help ease many of the pressures women experience on a daily basis when they look in the mirror or go out into the world.  Learning to acquire a critical eye on fashion and use styles that work for your body type, height, weight, and lifestyle is key to moving towards a positive body image.  Only when we reach that level of self-acceptance for ourselves, can we heal and look at ourselves in a more realistic and healthy way.

Perhaps now we don’t have to feel so exposed?  Please share with us your personal stories about what you “see in the mirror”.