Authentic, Authenticity, Body Image, Confidence, First Impressions, Image consultancy, Lyn Bromley

Positive Body Image

Body ImageI heard a statistic on the radio yesterday that 98% of women are unhappy with some element of their body image and think negative thoughts about their body every 15 minutes.  If that statistic is true, it makes me feel very sad.  It’s not how it has to be.  I can sympathise with it though.  You see, when I was growing up and went through my teenage years I did everything I could to make my ‘gigantic thighs’ smaller!  Those of you who know me, will know that I am not overweight and never have been.  But my teenage self couldn’t see that.  All I could see was that my friends had ‘lovely slim thighs’, thighs that I coveted and thighs that I spent lots of time and energy in trying to achieve.  Countless exercises, starving myself and existing on an apple a day sometimes.  Guess what?  Those slim thighs never materialised!  I got slimmer, of course I did, but I got slimmer everywhere and my thighs were still in the same proportion as they ever were.

Thankfully a friend told my mum what I was doing, because of course I hid it at home (thank you Katherine Haden)!  So it didn’t go to the extremes that it could have done if left unchecked.  I then got a better perspective of my body image, noticing that I had a really slim waist and as I grew I realised that an ‘hour-glass’ figure is something to be thankful for!

Through First Impression’s image training, I learned how to dress for my shape and to dress in a way that expresses who I am and helps me to feel confident and fabulous.  I believe that everyone should have this knowledge, but based on the research, we have a long way to go!  75% of 11-21 year old girls diet to look more attractive (research by Girl Guiding UK).

I regularly go into schools to share this information with children at that impressionable age, pre-teen, as their bodies begin to change.  I share my story with them and I talk to them about wearing clothes that suit them, not feeling pressured into wearing everything that happens to be in fashion.  You all see the result of wearing leggings, skinny jeans and those hideous dropped crotch trousers that makes all young boys look as though they have really short legs!  Wear what suits your body shape, wear what makes you look good and most importantly, wear what makes you feel good.

If you are reading this and you are a parent of pre-teens or teens, please let them know that most magazine images are not real, most are airbrushed, re-touched or doctored in some way.  I show the children at my workshop images pre and post changes and they love spotting the differences.  You would be amazed at how different the real image is.  This is one of the contributing factors to beliefs about needing to achieve a ‘perfect’ body.  Of course, the media is not the only influence and it can be an easy target.  I invite you to also consider your own language as an adult.  How do you talk about your body?  What do your children hear?  Are you setting a good example or are you paving the way for a distorted body image?  When I talk to 10-11 year olds there is already talk of being too fat, or too thin – where does that thought come from?

If you would like me to speak at your child’s school, or if I can help you with your own body image, please do get in touch.

If you have any questions, I’m very happy for you to email them privately to me on the email address below.

I am passionate about helping people to be body confident and to look and feel their best.

With my best wishes

Lyn

 

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions

 Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Membership Director of FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching. 

First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map.

Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038

Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com

Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

 

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12 thoughts on “Positive Body Image

  1. Jacqui Malpass says:

    I spent years as a teenager doing hundreds of sit ups every day because I thought I was fat. I exercised relentlessly, made myself sick and all sorts – very silly.

    As time went by I hid my body in baggy things – I still have a thing about arms – go figure???

    Some years ago I found some photos of me in a bathing costume when I had been persuaded to enter Miss Cardiff, I was stick thin. I can remember being in the back room with all of the other entrants. OMG what a palaver. I was thinner than most and you could tell they were lying about their vital statistics. They had mums, friends and tonnes of make up and other stuff all around them. Me – the tomboy arrived with my costume and some lipstick. It was interesting to say the least.

    This is such an important issue – well done!

  2. When I was in school and at college I always believed I had a weight problem when at the time I really didn’t…. self fulfilling prophecy materialised – thank you Universe! Yes I understand this now and hoping my new thoughts take me back the other way.

  3. All I can say is Lyn, I wish you had been around when I was a teenager! I have struggled with body image and how to dress it for years and still have a wardrobe full of all different clothes and styles. I’m not there yet! Being told when I was young that I was ‘substantial’, ‘never going to be slim like my sister’ and ‘best make do and get used to it’, it’s probably not surprising xx

  4. What you do in this area is so important, Lyn. I still catch myself feeling ‘less than’ because I was destined to be pear shaped and it feels like a failing, which I can track back to comments made to me by adults when I was really young about having a big bottom. Every young person who hears your message has a chance to choose a more positive message to take into adulthood.

    • Thank you Harriet – thanks for the RT on Twitter too! It links to Nadine’s post today too about anchors. We can absolutely choose to feel differently any time we like. Lyn

  5. Lyn,
    This is such an important message. I shared and shared and shared this post.

    “Wear what suits your body shape, wear what makes you look good and most importantly, wear what makes you feel good.”

    Take this to heart for yourself so you can teach it to your kids. I struggled wth it all my life and my older two kids experienced some of the consequences of that. Now I have a little one who I want to teach to have a healthy body image, which is hard to do when momma and papa battle theirs. We’re doing better though.

    Blessings,
    Kina

    • I’m so pleased Kina, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it. We are all work in progress – one day at a time.

      Best wishes
      Lyn

  6. Thank you, Lyn, for a very important message. It’s true that the media has certainly fueled the fire for young women (and men, too) to be unhappy with their body in some way, we as parents and grandparents must be vigilant in our own self-talk and acceptance of ourselves, too. Pointing out the Photo-shopping ‘perfection’ helps to show young impressionable teens and pre-teens that ‘perfection’ doesn’t exist in reality. Great post and great work that you do. Thank you!

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