What You Need To Know
Throughout social media and pop culture, young girls are incessantly bombarded with dramatically retouched images of models who they are taught to emulate. In reality, it is nearly impossible to achieve the appearance of these altered images, even for the models themselves.
While women often feel that they are alone in disliking their body, in fact most of their peers are experiencing the exact same form of self-deprecation. After conducting a of young women across the country, Glamour Magazine reports that a shocking 97% of respondents have at least one negative thought about their body per day. Through this and other research, I found that a community of women with shared trauma already existed – I just needed to find a way to unite them.
I asked myself…
How can gratitude be harnessed for the use of bettering one’s body image?
My Response: What Can We Do?
I decided to work on a workshop that could implemented in high schools that foster positive girl-to-girl discussions relating to body image. By uniting girls to discuss a topic that is often considered taboo, it strengthens their bonds with one another and creates a space for them to talk about overcoming their insecurities. Below is a curated list of positive psychology gratitude practices designed to boost women’s confidence through both self-promotion and the encouragement of their peers.
- Journal (in detail!) about one meaningful physical activity that your body allows you to do (10-15 min)
- Tell a friend one thing you like about their appearance (3 min)
- Write down a compliment someone has given you that made you feel good about your appearance (5 min)
- Identify three things you take for granted about your body (5 min)
- For every part of your body that you dislike, write down something you are grateful for that this part of your body allows you to do (15 min)
- Journal about a way that you have experienced a gift from your body recently (10-15 min)
- Share with a friend one way that you remind yourself of your body’s worth (5 min)
- Post sticky notes on your mirror and laptop that remind you of your body’s worth (10 min)
How Will You Get Involved?
I would love to know your thoughts and reactions to both my research and chosen response. Please let me know by answering one of the following questions in the comments below:
- How do you resonate with girls who experience negative thoughts about their body image?
- Do you think that knowing how widespread the experience is will help create a community of girls who aren’t afraid to help each other overcome their insecurities?
- What gratitude practice sounds the most appealing to you and why?
- What gratitude practice would you add to the list?