“Hating yourself for looking the way you look is worse than actually being overweight,” says Dr. Oz. Want a bulletproof body image? Take some cues from Tyra Banks of America’s Next Top Model. The supermodel came under fire several years back when she put on a few pounds. Recently she spoke out against the “image bullies” she’s encountered in her life and what she did (and what you go do) to fight back.
At the height of her modeling career, certain designers wouldn’t hire her because of her large bust and hips. But instead of starving herself to get their approval, she went out for pizza! Banks knows that, like many women, she has curves, and that’s something to be celebrated, not ashamed of.
Love you for you
Most women don’t have the luxury of a supermodel career to boost their self-confidence—but you don’t need one. “I tell women to find one thing you like about yourself,” says Banks. “Is it your eyes? Is it your hair? What is that one thing you can find? Then come back 30 days later and find something else.” Over time, you’ll grow to accept and love yourself for who you are, not who others think you should be.
Tell your spouse to butt out
When it comes to image bullying, it’s often someone you love who causes the most pain, perhaps unintentionally. If this is happening to you, Banks suggests you address the situation head-on. Tell the person exactly what they’re doing to hurt you and how they make you feel when they do it. That is your truth, the life you’re living, and no one, not even the worst image bully, can say that what you feel is not true.
While some image bullies are well intentioned, their effects are often counterproductive. Many women want to eat more, for example, when their husbands tell them to eat less. This turns into a cyclical problem where the more the bully bullies, the worse the problem becomes. Banks suggests you stop the cycle entirely. Tell your partner not to say anything about your weight or appearance unless you bring it up. Only then can he offer support and advice.
Unfriend intentional bullies
Of course, not all image bullies are so accommodating. If someone in your life is not accepting of who you are, you may have to remove yourself from that person’s influence. Banks puts it this way: “I have had bullies in my life—good friends—[to whom] I’ve had to say, ‘You don’t make me feel good about myself, and I can not be your friend anymore.’”
Why do people bully to begin with? It’s not for the reasons you might think. Dr. Oz has the answers.
Do you have an accurate body image? Dr. Oz shows you how to find out.
Do you think models are too thin? Do models affect how you feel about your own body? Let us know in the comment section below.
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