Our body image is crucial to how we see ourselves and our place in the world. It affects our self-confidence, self-worth, and how we interact with others. But have you ever wondered what factors shape your body image? It’s a question worth exploring, especially for writers of erotic literature who want to create realistic and relatable characters. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the factors that shape our body image, both internal and external. From thoughts to genes, we will explore the many components of this complex concept.
Let’s start with the internal factors: our behavior plays a big role in how we view our bodies. We may engage in unhealthy habits such as overeating or lack of exercise, which causes our bodies to function suboptimally. Accordingly, we will feel unwell sooner or later.
However, our interaction with social media can contribute at least as much to our discomfort because our brains are not yet trained to see through the retouched images on social media for what they are: a beautiful lie. This barely attainable ideal of beauty shapes our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. Especially if we have gotten into the habit of negative self-talk, this can lead to a distorted view of our bodies.
It becomes really problematic when we are surrounded by people who have also fallen for the media beauty lie and reinforce your mistaken belief that only those who look like they just fell out of Insta are beautiful. In turn, being part of a positive friend group can make it easier for us to accept our bodies for what they are: individuals. Not standardized.
Genetics also plays a role, as our physical characteristics are often inherited from our parents. It may seem unfair, but people born into families with a history of overweight or obesity have an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese themselves. This is because genetic factors make them more prone to obesity. It’s the same with height. If your parents are both relatively short in stature, the chances of you having a career as a basketball player later in life are reasonably slim.
Our jobs, roles, and education can also affect our body image. Pressure to meet specific physical standards can lead to body image issues, such as models or athletes. On the other hand, as a non-athlete, it is witless to dream of having an athlete’s body. If necessary, the only thing that would help is to start doing sports. And the modeling scene is undergoing a radical change anyway, which puts the usual clichés into perspective.
Health can also be a factor. Illness or injuries can change our bodies and cause us to perceive ourselves differently. Memories and experiences from the past, especially those related to trauma or abuse, can also affect our body image.
Considering external factors can be crucial in erotic literature to create realistic characters. You can make the character more believable and exciting by calling attention to how a character’s occupation, relationships, or past experiences contribute to their body image. Think about the main character’s background and how that leads her to see her body in a certain way. For example, if she’s a model, you can figure out how the pressure to conform to a specific norm affects her.
Understanding the factors that shape our body image is a complex and vital task. Not only does it affect how we see ourselves, but it also impacts relationships, careers, and mental health. We can identify how our body image is shaped by examining internal and external factors, such as behavior and relationships. This is especially important for writers of erotic literature who want to create realistic and relatable characters. By considering the influences contributing to a character’s body image, we can create more compelling, nuanced characters that readers will love.