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Body image

THE ASIAN AGE. | DR NARAYANA REDDY
Published : Jun 21, 2017, 12:39 am IST
Updated : Jun 21, 2017, 12:39 am IST

Our mental spotlight, at times, is more on the negatives.

Body image is one’s perception of the self, and how we feel others see us. (Photo: AP)
 Body image is one’s perception of the self, and how we feel others see us. (Photo: AP)

A woman who was sitting in my reception area recently was truly breathtaking in every sense of the word and honestly, it was an effort not to take a second glance as I walked past her to my office room. My curiosity was all perked up. Now, what could be the reason that such a beautiful woman wished to see me? And for a while, I felt sad too wondering at the magnitude of her problem. However, when I finally got to speak to her, my jaw fell as I heard her problem.

Here’s what she had to say — “Sir, I am unhappy due to a lot of things. I think my breasts are too small, I have stretch marks on my body, I am ashamed to wear revealing clothes, and my figure is too flabby. I cringe when I have to undress to have sex with my husband wondering what he thinks of my body. I did approach a slimming center but I ended up fainting after just one session. Can you help me in some way?” Frankly, I just wanted to hold a mirror to her face and say — look at yourself!

Body image is one’s perception of the self, and how we feel others see us. A subjective matter, if one goes by the standard commonly agreed. Our mental spotlight, at times, is more on the negatives than the positives. Common concerns range from a small penis to a burgeoning paunch. A careless, flippant remark from a third person too makes us mentally troubled.

Understand that you are born with your constitution. We may be able to change many things about us but not beyond a point. Exercise, stay fit and wear your self-esteem on your heart and not on your body image.

The writer is a sexologist. Mail him at dr.narayana@deccanmail.com

Tags: body image, self-esteem