We were wandering through the Wonderopolis forest the other day when we heard an interesting conversation between a giraffe and a baboon. It went something like this:
Baboon: Hey Jerry! How’s it going? Want a banana?
Giraffe: No, thanks, Bruce. I’m not hungry.
Baboon: Why so glum, pal?
Giraffe: I guess I just feel too tall and too skinny. I wish I was more like everyone else.
Baboon: Compared to you, I’m short and fat. Maybe I shouldn’t eat any more bananas.
Giraffe: No! You look fine. You look just how a baboon is supposed to look.
Baboon: Really? Well, you look just like a giraffe is supposed to look, too.
Giraffe: You don’t think I’m too tall or skinny?
Baboon: Not at all. That’s what makes you a giraffe. So what do you say? Banana?
Giraffe: Sure, pal. I’ll have one if you have one. Let’s eat!
Have you ever felt like the giraffe or the baboon? Too tall? Too short? Too skinny? Too…something? Of course you have. We all feel that way from time to time.
Whether it’s your height, your weight, your hair color, the size of your feet, or something else entirely, you feel certain ways about the different parts of your body. And your body has many parts. So there are plenty of opinions you can hold!
All these beliefs you hold about your physical appearance make up what’s called your body image. Body image includes not only whether you feel that you’re attractive, but also specific beliefs about particular parts of your body.
For many people, body image is linked closely to self-esteem, which is how you feel about your self-worth. A positive body image and good self-esteem are important to feeling well, both mentally and physically.
Many people have a negative body image and low self-esteem because they’re not perfect. But guess what? No one is perfect! Sure, some people are taller or skinnier than others, but they’re certainly not perfect.
Since it’s impossible to be perfect, we have to learn to live with and embrace the people that we are. It doesn’t mean we can’t make changes and improvements to make ourselves healthier. But we shouldn’t get down on ourselves because of these things.
If a change will make you healthier, by all means pursue it. Don’t change things, though, simply because you think you’ll be more attractive or people will like you more. Learn to accept and celebrate the unique human being that is YOU.
Everyone has things they wish were different about their bodies. But don’t focus on those things. Instead, concentrate on being the best person you can be with the talents you were born with. Find those things that make you WONDERful and celebrate them!