6 Things That Destroy Your Body Image & Tank Your Self-Esteem

Having a bad body image or low self-esteem can really mess you up mentally and physically. While it can certainly lead to more serious issues like eating disorders and depression, for most of us, it amounts to psyching ourselves out and not living life to the fullest. No woman – or human being in general! –  is perfect, and we could all do a better job when it comes to taking better care of ourselves, in every sense. The following things might not seem like a big deal, but they’re definitely affecting your relationship with yourself.

  1. Selfies. You might think that selfies are actually boosting your body image. After all, we all feel pretty good when we take a good selfie and get a good amount of feedback on it. However, psychologists claim that they’re actually pretty damaging because you’re more focused on how you’re seen by others rather than on your true identity.
  2. Facebook. The social platform is pretty useful to keep in contact with people, but is it secretly hurting you? Researchers found that people with lower self-esteem tend to pay more attention to what others are posting more. If you find yourself using Facebook to compare yourself and your life to others, you should probably take a break.
  3. Thinking badly about yourself. It’s safe to say that most women do this. Glamour conducted a study which found that 97 percent of women think negatively about their body at least once a day!  This is partially because society teaches women that they should have negative body image, and if we don’t, then we’re weird or too cocky. Start practicing shutting down these negative thoughts and thinking more about what you like about your body.
  4. Dieting. It’s one thing to make healthy lifestyle changes, but it’s another to constantly diet and give yourself food restrictions that you could never maintain for a long period of time just to become thin. Sadly, the latter is the most common and a study found girls start dieting at age 8 just to be thin.
  5. Negative friends. Thinking badly about yourself will lower your self-esteem, but having friends that do the same will also affect you. According to recent data, the biggest pressure girls have to be thin actually comes from their peers. If the people you surround yourself with are more focused on looks than anything else in life, you might want to distance yourself.
  6. Staying in a bad relationship. Some women feel like they can’t walk away from a relationship because they can’t do better. But staying in something you know that is doomed can be a waste of time and tank your self-esteem. A study from the University of Waterloo found people who stick to these kind of relationships have low self-esteem, which seems pretty obvious, to me.
Nicole Weaver is a staff writer for YourTango and regularly contributes to Hollywood, The Bolde, and Proud2BMe. She is a lover of all things entertainment meaning she spends most of her nights in New York binge watching television shows. Follow her on Twitter at @nikkibernice.