But, how deep do these insecurities really lie and how much do they affect our day-to-day lives?
Dr. Bijal Chheda-Varma, a psychologist specializing in body image at London’s Capio Nightingale Hospital, decided to find out using the silhouette test. She says: ‘The silhouette test is widely used among psychologists because it’s a very simple way to determine how unhappy a woman is with her shape’.
The women involved in the test were asked to identify the size they think they are from a range of body shapes, ranked from one to nine (with one being very underweight and nine very overweight).
The difference between the two numbers is their body dissatisfaction score and, with a little computer trickery, they were shown how they see their bodies compared to reality.
‘Basically, the bigger the gap between the shape a woman thinks she is and the shape she’d like to be, the more upset she is about her body. Most women tend to have a distorted view.
‘While men tend to be more accurate, the average woman is likely to pick a shape one or two points from reality.
According to Dr Chheda-Varma, body dissatisfaction in women is on the rise.
She says: ‘I’m seeing a growing number who do not have eating disorders, but even so they have increasing body dissatisfaction scores.
‘They often come to me for different reasons, like depression and anxiety, and it emerges that body image and food consumption are underlying factors.
‘From what these women tell me, it’s clear how the high standards they are setting themselves and how anxious the pressure to be perfect can make women feel.’
Ladies, what we do to ourselves is criminal. You have to ask yourself why are you so hard on yourself?
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