Comparing your body favourably won’t improve body image

 

Have you ever said (or thought) something like this….

“Well, at least my tummy isn’t as big as hers, so I guess it’s not so bad…” ?

I’ll admit that I have done this. So no judgement if you have too 🙂

When you compare your body favourably to someone else’s, you might think that’s good for your body confidence.

BUT, in this post,  I’m explaining why comparing your body favourably is DAMAGING your body image.

AND, I’m sharing what to do instead when you start comparing your body to someone else’s.

Watch or read below:

 

Favourable body comparisons

So what I’m talking about is comparing your body to someone else’s and concluding that your body is better – so a better shape or size.

This is something that I see some clients do to make themselves feel more body confident.

If they’ve been struggling with comparing their bodies in a negative way, they see a favourable comparison as a positive thing to do.

Now while in the short term this might make them feel better for a while, longer term it isn’t helpful for body image.

Why comparing your body favourably doesn’t work

If you’re comparing your body in this way, like my clients, I advise you not to, and I’ll explain why:

Firstly, any form of body comparison reinforces body consciousness

It doesn’t matter if you are comparing your body in a negative or a positive way, it means that you’re always alert to, and thinking about how your body looks. This is known as self-objectification. If you want better body image, getting your focus off your body altogether is the most helpful strategy.

Secondly, for every favourable body comparison you make, you’ll still have multiple times the number of negative comparisons. 

That’s just the way your brain works. The brain has a negativity bias. It’s unlikely that comparing your body in a favourable way will stop negative comparisons completely.

Finally, comparing your body, even favourably, still means that you are making harsh judgements.

Although in this case, the negative judgement isn’t aimed at you, you’re still allowing that harsh inner critic to be in control. Allowing this judgemental voice to constantly chatter in your head regardless of who it’s aimed at will not make you kinder to yourself in the long term.

What to do when you compare your body

So if comparing your body in a favourable way is not a good strategy, what can you do instead?

Well, rather than comparing your body in a positive or negative way, aim to respond in a neutral way.

So if you feel yourself judging your body compared to someone else’s, firstly just notice what is happening.

You might say to yourself, “I’m noticing that I’m judging my body compared to someone else’s.”

Then respond in a neutral way. So, instead of saying “My body is better/worse than that person’s”, prepare something you can say when you’re tempted to make a comparison.

A neutral way of responding might be, “People come in all different shapes and sizes and there is no wrong way to have a body.”

Practice this approach until you find yourself less inclined to compare your body to someone else’s.

I’d love to know if you’re comparing your body in a favourable way to others and how it makes you feel.  Please leave me a comment below.

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