Women of all ages can be negatively affected by mainstream ideals of thinness and white beauty standards in the media. Research shows that proudly embracing your cultura Latina and surrounding yourself with positive role models can improve your body image.
Your body moves you. It carries you throughout the day, sometimes holding el peso del mundo on your shoulders. The stresses of work, school or family can add up, but how you respect and treat your body can protect you.
Treating your body with kindness and respect nurtures it with energy and positivity. Love your body by moving it and keeping it fit. Respect your body by eating delicious and nutritious food. Start looking at your body with appreciation instead of criticism. All these choices help you develop a positive body image.
Having a positive body image and healthy self-esteem is key to living a happy life.
Body image is how you think of your body. When you look in the mirror or picture yourself, what do you feel? Acceptance or criticism? This is part of your body image. Body image encompasses what you believe and feel about your appearance, your weight, shape and height. Your body image is also about how you sense your body as it moves.
We want you to be a Body-Positive Supermujer because negative body image can hurt you. It can affect your relationships and how you communicate with others. Negative body image can contribute to low self-esteem and eating disorders, and chip away at your overall health and well-being.
Take a look at these signs and check in with yourself.
How you perceive your body is complex. Many factors affect body image, including where you were born, how you were raised, who your role models are or were, and the social groups you not only interact with, but compare yourself to. Today’s media-focused mainstream culture has more power than ever to influence Latina body image.
¿Sabes qué? Latinas who watch four or more hours of TV a day or spend that amount of time on social media have a less favorable body image than Latinas who don’t.
Some researchers say it’s because mainstream media and advertisers push their distorted definition of beauty. Many times this definition doesn’t match ours. They portray certain values, people and themes in a way that make you feel like your uniqueness is wrong. This portrayal creates a warped illusion of reality that idealizes thinness and extreme Western beauty standards. This warped illusion can lead women to create unhealthy comparisons to the women they see in the media. This is bad for all women, but it is beginning to affect Latinas and you need to alert yourselves to it and reject it.
Did you know that…or ¿Sabes Qué? Latinas who watch four or more hours of TV a day or spend that amount of time on social media have a less favorable body image than Latinas who don’t.
Latinas are strong, passionate and proud, and all of these characteristics should be embraced to improve your overall self-image. In a recent research study, women who identified as Latina—those who embraced their strong ethnic identity—described their bodies more positively and were better able to fight off the negative effects of media consumption than those who didn’t identify as Latinas. So as it turns out, when you embrace your cultural identity—tu cultura Latina—you are more likely to accept and celebrate body types of all shapes, colors, ages and sizes.
Embracing your cultural identity helps combat the over-sexualized or stereotypical body images of Latinas that the media tend to portray. In the language of social research, this is called a Protective Factor. Translation: Your cultural identity can protect you from the distorted body images that are portrayed in the media. ¡Eso!
Here are some ways you can draw from your cultura and boost your body image and self image: