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“I look fat” …. “I hate my arms” …. “I need to lose weight” 

Does this sound familiar?

Almost 50% of women worry about their weight and appearance every day. Body image dissatisfaction is an issue and it is prevalent. Women and men, both young and old deserve a vivid view of life and to truly achieve this we must challenge current attitudes and beliefs that contribute to chasing the beauty ideal which all too often leads to poor body image, weight preoccupation, dieting and eating disorders.

In a research project I completed in 2000 almost half of the women said they worried about their weight or appearance and felt their primary sense of worth was based on their appearance.

More recently, in a Darwin based poll of a group of 100 women;

  • 83% said they regularly have negative thoughts about the way their body looks
  • 64% said they compare their body to images they see in the media
  • 44% said they are currently are or have experienced an eating disorder
  • 90% said they have dieted in order to lose weight

Women’s body dissatisfaction is widespread and directly linked to unhealthy eating behaviours that greatly impact on their social, emotional, mental and physical health and wellbeing. It’s time to recognise this as an issue, bring it out of the closet and remove the ‘secrets’ and ‘shame’. It’s time to change this culture – collectively, we can make a difference.

“To be young and thin as a woman is to be found more beautiful in society.”

“How readily people comment about physical appearance rather than other traits”.

“When discussing issues of self-esteem it was said that women often felt that their primary sense of self-worth came from their appearance.”

“We suffer inner turmoil when we feel overweight.”

“People won’t like you if you’re fat.”

Do we really want this for our next generation? Or do we want to draw a line in the sand and stand up for the fact that we are so much more than the size of our butts.

This attitude is creating mental and emotional pain for so many and all too often women are suffering in silence.

It’s time to talk about this important issue. Together we can help create positive body image for men, women and children in our community.

*Quotes and Statistics Sourced from Making a Difference Project by Catie Kirke, presented to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, 2000 and ART Your Life Body Image Poll, 2014

ART Your Life runs programs to help women love themselves, their bodies and their lives from the inside out. Over 500 hundred women have participated in our programs, many of whom have experienced poor body image and eating disorders. If you’d like to know more about our programs in Darwin or online contact us at sparkle@artyourlife.com.au or phone 0411 383 761.