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Body Image Challenges, Insecure cause of Looks Part 1

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 24th March 2022 00:31
I believe this applies to both genders. This is an excerpt from one of Dr Kanwal Kaisser’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. My notes are in brackets.

We are talking about mental health challenges. A big solution to mental challenges is one should work on their self esteem.

How do you work on your self esteem?

We have to work on our ‘self worth’.
We have to understand and have ‘unconditional love’.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى places this in our life for our own selves (we should love ourselves unconditionally), (we receive this) through our parents as well and also other people. If 4 people don’t like and criticize you, there are ten people who are concerned (and care) for you. Our problem is we don’t see those 10 people. We only see those four, three or two individuals and (keep) focusing on them. Because of them our self esteem goes down, our mental health challenges increase. Your depression will increase, get anxious, get suicidal thoughts (due to which) your relationships begin to suffer.

When I am alluding to ‘unconditional love’, I want to specify to our own selves. We need to accept that I am a unique individual. I am not talking about becoming arrogant, egoistic, or becoming narcissistic. What I am talking about is to acknowledge one’s (self) worth. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has created me as an individual, I have my own identity and with that identity whatever qualities I possess, I need to recognize those.

But what ends up happening? No matter how much we say ‘look at your inner selves and be at peace with your inner selves’. Our appearance definitely has an impact on us. For example a girl who understands per the standards of this world that ‘I am beautiful’. It shows in the way she walks and talks. Her confidence is different because she is able to see in the eyes of others ‘appreciation’ for her. In the home, (among) friends she is somehow always a popular figure. This is one fact when we look around. Irrespective of how many times we say (looks) don’t matter.

Similarly, that individual who feels that ‘my appearance is not attractive’. My complexion is not good. My nose is crooked. My eyes are not okay. Why am I so short? Some girls are exceptionally tall, they are not happy with that. My body size is disproportionate. Because when you start thinking about yourself, you have in front of you an ‘appearance’, its realistic, you are not making up story about yourself. Complexion that is usually preferred in this world, your complexion is not that. In the world, the way people perceive certain eyes to be ‘beautiful’ and certain looks, you don’t possess those looks. We keep giving ourselves this message my body is not to be ‘appreciated’. And if I am thinking my body is not to be appreciated, that thought becomes internalized.

Due to which, we lower our self worth. Because all the time you get direct/indirect messages from other people. Especially for girls who are in marriageable age. I remember for my sons when we were looking for potential spouses. I saw the same apprehension in my sons. I realized even boys go through these scenarios. For them it was great challenge they would worry) about getting rejected. We being females think this challenge only belongs to us. But males also have to go through this challenge. This is why you see all these gyms being full. They are working on their muscles. They are also trying to work on their body image. So don’t assume being a female, you only have to experience this challenge and others don’t.

The Body image that we have, this is one way of receiving and experiencing love; and our (self) worth. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we see how good I look while we are preparing ourselves. We don’t step out without looking at ourselves. When we look at ourselves, we sometimes smile. Observe yourself, the day you feel fresh, today this color suits me, that day automatically you will respect and have caring attitude for yourself. Contrary to this, if you are not happy with yourself when you look in the mirror, perhaps you see a pimple or you feel (you tell yourself) today you look far worst (than before).

I don’t know why, when I am wearing this shirt its not fitting me right. But when I saw it in the magazine she looked really nice. I am not thinking that woman, what her size was? How many filters were applied and photo was modified through software? While I am standing here unfiltered, trying to get prepared for my day.

So it becomes an issue when all these things constantly remind us of (our) imperfections.
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