Seven steps to enhancing your body image

1.         Set our own standards of beauty.  Revolutionise our values by defining attractiveness with much broader parameters. Research has shown that women who set their own beauty ideal have a better body image.  This means finding a clothing style that you feel good in or wearing a hairstyle you like – essentially celebrating the best of what you have.

2.         Start doing what feels good and indulges your senses.  Treat yourself with kindness by pampering yourself with oils/creams, aromatherapy, body brushes, massages – or what ever feels good.   Bath house are a great way to nurture ourselves with the added bonus of being naked with the same gender.  Getting naked with a group of people, and realising no one fits into the perfect category and that you are perfectly acceptable the way you are, is such a liberating experience.

3.         Limit your interactions with people who are critical of your body.  It will only reinforce your own internal critic.

4.         Body work such as Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, Yoga, Shiatsu, Dance and movement can be helpful to reconnect with our body and explore the link between our emotional and physical body.  We come to realise our body is so much more then its physical appearance.

5.         Explore our relationship with food and the meaning food has in our lives.  Many specialists feel that food is actually a metaphor for girls to cope with, and express, many unacceptable feelings such as anger and rage and their discontent with other aspects of their lives.   Such coping mechanism can remain with us through our adult lives.

6.         Journal writing our experience or drawing our bodies using colour to highlight the parts that cause pain and discomfort, and parts that cause the most joy, can be a valuable part of self-exploration and helps us reconnect to our body.

7.         Move the focus from the negative to positive regard.  Focus on exercising for fun, adventure or general wellbeing, and eating for nourishment, rather then to develop a better body image. We need to move the focus from purely the physical appearance of our bodies. When we go deeper and consider our bodies from a holistic perspective, we acknowledge the emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of our being.  We are much more then skin deep.


"When women can look in a mirror with acceptance and appreciation rather then disdain, when they can honour the vitality, agility and utility of their bodies, and when they can open themselves to the rhythms and range of sensory experiences that are part of living in a body, they will come a long way toward embracing and owning their embodied sexuality"

Daniluk, J. (19980  "Women's sexuality across the Life Span