Insecurities of women with heavier bodies
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
How frequently do you glance in the mirror and flinch, thinking to yourself that you would only be happier if you lost a couple of pounds? Unfortunately, the majority of women and girls are unhappy with their bodies, and many resort to drastic methods to alter their appearance.
For example, in one study, 63 percent of female participants said that weight was the most significant factor in deciding how they perceived themselves in every aspect of their lives. According to other studies, 86 percent of all women are unsatisfied with their bodies and wish to reduce weight.
Size, like weight, is seen as a defining feature of womens’and adolescent girls' identities and this can be detrimental to their physical and mental well-being.
When looking at their own bodies, the most frequent thought that pops up is 'why don't I look like her?' which spirals into a chain of self-comparison of their own bodies to the so-called 'ideal' body types. These insecurities manifest in different ways.
1. An unhealthy relationship with food
Dieting or restricted eating, overexercising, and other disordered eating or weight management behaviors are all at risk when you have a poor body image.
Dieting has been interlinked to the development of eating disorders. According to research, even moderate dieting increases the likelihood of adolescent females developing an eating disorder. While dieting has become commonplace in society, it can cause significant physical health problems and most people who lose weight by dieting gain it back over time.
2. Low self-esteem
Self-esteem and body image are inextricably related. Women with low self-esteem have a high likelihood develop eating problems, hesitate to engage sexual engagement, abuse substances, and consider suicide.
3. Stretch marks
Women with heavier bodies tend to develop stretch marks as putting on a lot of weight in a short period of time puts strain on the skin which must expand to accommodate the additional body mass. Red stretch marks can occur everywhere on the body, depending on where you gain weight and women find themselves getting increasingly insecure about these stretch marks.
4. Eating disorders
Eating disorders are psychological problems that lead to the development of harmful eating behaviors. They may begin with a food, body weight, or body form fixation. If left untreated, eating disorders can have major health effects and could lead to death in severe situations.
Eating disorders can manifest itself in a variety of ways. The majority, however, entail extreme dietary restriction, eating binges, or purging behaviors such as vomiting or over-exercising.
5. Social concerns
Overweight women are highly concerned about what others think of them. By giving 'suggestions' about diet or exercise, well-intentioned parents, siblings, or friends can occasionally make matters worse.
Some heavier women are even mocked or bullied, and these feeling instill feelings of humiliation which result in fears of being criticised or rejected, causing them to avoid social situations.
6. A negative relationship with physical activity
A woman's relationship with physical exercise might also be influenced by her body image. Heavier women may avoid physical exercise because they are self-conscious or unhappy with their looks, body size, or form. This may be because they believe that being active or participating in certain activities exposes their bodies to public scrutiny.