For the MerryBody Online Summit, we sat down with Clinical Psychologist Miriam Emad (one of our most favourite humans in the world) to chat all things body image. The interviews are ALL now inside the MerryBody Online Studio.
In this interview, you’ll gain a psychologist’s perspective on negative body image and ways to deal with it.
Miriam talks about where and when negative body image originated and how it’s adapted in our modern society, why we compare ourselves to others and how we can begin the practice of just observing our body rather than forever judging and criticizing it.
This chat was AMAZING!
If you want to create a healthy relationship with your body, if you want to spend less time feeling negative towards your body SIGN UP to the MerryBody Online Studio.
When we think about body image and unrealistic beauty standards we tend to blame media, advertising and social media BUT during this interview, Miriam starts at the very beginning.
She tells us how there were documented signs of self-restricted dieting all the way back in the 13th century due to lack of resources. It was the women who would first deprive themselves so they were able to provide for their families.
There was also a belief that in order to be ‘holy and pure’ they needed to deprive themselves.
Later on, around the 18th century at the beginning of industrialisation, as women began work and hard labour, they became darker skinned and muscular. However, in this time being frail and pale was an upper-class statement, Miriam says, “There was this real cultural idealisation of thinness from that point because it became an upper-class statement, so women started to strive to be frail and pale.”
Miriam focuses on more recent years, “Now everywhere you look whether you’re opening Instagram or a magazine, from such a young age you are being exposed to countless frail models. So it’s only human for you to ask, “Why don’t I look like this?”.
It would be safe to say there is probably not a single person who hasn’t at some point compared themselves to an image they’ve seen.”
And after this action of comparing ourselves and because we don’t look like the model we label ourselves ‘bad’ or ‘not quite right’ or ‘not good enough’.
Miriam talks about changing our perspectives. To practise not defining anything as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but change to non-judgemental language like ‘I am’ and ‘I exist’.
Welcoming this change from harsh self-judgement to non-judgmental and non-labelled, we put ourselves in a space where we don’t have to love something about ourselves to accept it.
If you struggle with self-love… this practice is for you!
Self-love is an amazing practice but when we first heard about it… it made us want to vomit. We could not possibly look at the mirror and send kind thoughts and words to ourselves… because we hated what we saw.
Miriam talks about moving away from ‘how does my body look’ to ‘how does my body work’.
For us, this is why Yoga and Pilates have become such an important part of our lives… every time we get on the mat and do the classes it’s a reminder of what our bodies can do and how grateful we are for them.
To view this interview with Miriam and to get a psychologist’s perspective on negative body image, sign up to the MerryBody Online Studio.
Not only will you have access to Miriam’s amazing interview you’ll hear from over 20 other wellness and mindset experts from around the world. It will be a journey of fulfilment, balance and renewed inspiration.
If you’re finally ready to create the life you want in 2020 and beyond that gives you more confidence, less stress and brings you more joy and happiness…
We can’t wait to bring all these amazing interviews to you!
Emma + Carla