Tackling Body Objectification

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Alison Hall
Alison Hall

Try Freedom Founder and Intuitive Eating Counsellor

Tackling Body Objectification: A Key to Intuitive Eating

Not many people about tackling body objectification because they don’t know what it is. So what is it? Well, it’s “what is the thing that women feel they need to look a certain way to gain approval or self-esteem”. 

Body objectification is a pervasive societal issue that has profound implications for our relationship with food, our bodies, and our overall well-being. Understanding what body objectification is and its impact on our lives is essential for those on the path to intuitive eating, as it plays a significant role in shaping our attitudes towards our bodies and food choices.

Body objectification refers to the process of viewing and treating one’s own or others’ bodies as objects to be looked at, evaluated, and judged, primarily for their appearance. It reduces the person to their physical attributes, often disregarding their thoughts, feelings, and humanity. In a world heavily influenced by media and beauty standards, body objectification has become ingrained in our culture, contributing to widespread body dissatisfaction and disordered eating patterns.

Here are some key aspects of body objectification:

  1. External Validation:

    Individuals who experience this misogynistic concept often seek external validation and approval based on their physical appearance. Their self-worth becomes closely tied to how they are perceived by others.
  2. Comparison:

    Body objectification fosters a culture of comparison, where people measure their worth against societal beauty ideals. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
  3. Self-Objectification:

    People who internalise body objectification may start to view themselves as objects to be observed, evaluated, and perfected. This self-objectification can have a detrimental impact on self-esteem and body image.
  4. Impact on Eating Habits:

    Body objectification can contribute to disordered eating behaviours as individuals may feel pressured to adhere to unrealistic beauty standards. This pressure can lead to restrictive diets, binge eating, or other unhealthy eating patterns.
  5. Psychological Consequences:

    The constant scrutiny of one’s appearance can lead to a range of psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
  6. Disconnection from Intuitive Eating:

    Body objectification often disconnects individuals from their intuitive eating cues. They may prioritise external standards of beauty over their own bodily signals, leading to an unhealthy relationship with food.

So, is tackling body objectification crucial to the intuitive eating journey?

Intuitive eating encourages individuals to reconnect with their bodies, listen to their hunger and fullness cues, and make food choices based on physical and emotional needs rather than external standards of beauty. Body objectification, with its focus on appearance and external validation, directly contradicts these principles.

Here are some steps you can take to challenge and break free from body objectification:

  1. Media Literacy:

    Be critical of media portrayals of beauty and idealised body standards. Recognise that these images are often heavily edited and do not represent reality. Limit exposure to content that perpetuates unrealistic ideals.
  2. Self-Compassion:

    Cultivate self-compassion and self-acceptance. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, recognising that your worth is not determined by your appearance.
  3. Practice Mindfulness:

    Engage in mindfulness techniques to reconnect with your body and its sensations. Mindful eating can help you tune into your hunger and fullness cues and make food choices that align with your needs.
  4. Challenge Beauty Ideals:

    Challenge societal beauty ideals and celebrate diversity in body shapes, sizes, and appearances. Recognise that every body is unique and deserving of love and acceptance.
  5. Seek Support:

    If you can identify with this problem is deeply ingrained and impacting your mental and emotional well-being, consider seeking support from a therapist or counsellor who specialises in body image issues (e.g. an Intuitive Eating Counsellor.)

In conclusion, body objectification is a pervasive issue that can profoundly impact our relationship with our bodies and food. Recognising the role it plays in shaping our attitudes towards appearance and self-worth is essential for those embarking on the intuitive eating journey. By challenging and breaking free from this harmful way of thinking, you can foster a more positive and authentic connection with your body and make food choices that truly honour your physical and emotional needs.

Help Tackling Body Objectification

Contact Alison Hall at Try Freedom about how to permanently shake off self-objectification so you can be free to be an intuitive eater.

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