Our bodies incarnate who we are. Every movement we make conveys our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. When we are stressed or anxious, our body may express this tension through tense muscles and shallow breathing. When we are happy and carefree, our bodies radiate warmth and lightness. Our bodies tell us who we are and what we have experienced.
Even illness often has a psychological component. Our bodies try to alert us to problems by resisting normal function. When we experience stress or inner conflict, our body may express this conflict through physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, or chronic pain. We must find ways to listen to our body and understand its messages.
Self-acceptance is critical to our physical and mental well-being. Studies show that people with high levels of body acceptance have better overall mental health, including higher self-esteem and less depression and anxiety. Our relationship with our bodies affects our relationship with ourselves and, ultimately, our relationship with the world around us. Because the first thing the world around us notices is our bodies-whether we like it or not.
As young girls, we are bombarded with images of the “perfect” body – slim waist, toned abs, curves in all the right places. Society tells us that this is the only way we can be beautiful and that our worth lies in the shape of our bodies. This can cause us to turn away from our bodies and see them as something separate from us. However, when we begin to see our bodies as an integral part of who we are – something we don’t shamefully hide, but celebrate and love for all that it does for us – we can build a more positive relationship with it. This sense of self-acceptance can then spill over into other areas of our lives, allowing us to show up more as ourselves.
Our physical appearance is determined by a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and how we treat our bodies. It reflects our life experiences and shows who we are at our core. When we reject or judge our appearance, we are rejecting a part of ourselves. It is important that we strive for body acceptance and learn to love and appreciate our bodies as unique expressions of ourselves.
As authors, especially in the New Adult genre, it is important to explore the relationship between body image and our characters’ personalities. Creating protagonists who learn to love and accept their bodies can send a powerful message to readers. It can also be an opportunity to explore the complex relationship between inner and outer experiences and how they shape our identities.
Our bodies are complex expressions of our personalities, communicating our experiences and emotions with every move we make. When we accept and love our bodies, we accept and love ourselves. It is important to listen to our bodies, understand its messages, and strive for body acceptance in order to feel good overall. When we develop characters in our writing who learn this healthy relationship between body and personality, we can pass on this powerful message to our readers.