As a local of the sunny “OC”, better known as Orange County, we know that 80% of the year will be spent outside enjoying the endless sun rays. One may either be enjoying a beautiful brunch on the sand front, a warm yet breezy bike ride on the pier, or body surfing the perfect wave. Whichever route one might take, it involves either a pair of shorts, tank top, or a bathing suit. One will rarely see an OC local or Southern Californian bundled up in ‘winter attire’. This means, that being a local female, you will own at least 3 or more swimsuits. On the other hand, this also means that we have all gone through the feeling of dreading the ‘fitting room’. I don’t think there has been one girl who has looked in the mirror at some point of their life and been completely satisfied with what they see. Whether you are a size zero or a size twenty, everyone encounters a battle with body image and self-esteem.
One’s body image refers to how one perceives, thinks and feels about his or her body. In the United States specifically, negative body image issues are well established in the female culture. This is greatly influenced by the pressures within the media. According to the National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, Dove Self-Esteem Fund, 7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends. In addition, 92% of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest.
When a woman is dissatisfied with her body, a wide range of physical and psychological consequences can result, including drug and alcohol misuse. Body image has a direct effect on a woman’s self-esteem, which dictates her overall self-value or self-worth. Thus, poor body image can lower one’s self-confidence and self-respect. This lack of self-esteem are paired with insecurities and other negative feelings, such as worthlessness, guilt, shame, and loneliness. To cope with these painful emotions, many women attempt to numb their feelings through self-medicating either with drugs or alcohol. These substances allow individuals to alter their mood, reduce their inhibitions and enhance their confidence, while making it easier to forget the pain they are experiencing.
The reality is that body image plays a significant role in our everyday lives and it can truly influence self-destructive behaviors. How individuals think and feel about themselves determines how they treat themselves and conduct their lives. New Directions for Women believes in the power of female empowerment and working with other organizations and companies that believe in the same motto. We have loved partnering with BeachCandy Swimwear. BeachCandy embodies positive body image while so creating an environment that gives women the confidence to rock their favorite swimsuit without the feeling of shame and insecurity.
It is the first swimwear company to address and solve the issues of real women, in order to empower them to feel their best and look their best in their own bodies. In addition to that, one can design their own custom swimsuit. BeachCandy understands the uncomfortableness that comes with wearing a swimsuit. Their motto is “we don’t force your body to fit our suits, we fit our suits to your body”. So ladies, stop blaming your figure for how your swimsuit fits and let’s come together, to change ones view on their body and empower each other! Together, we can change how women, and the world, view their bodies.
If you are a woman looking to find help for drug or alcohol abuse that has resulted from body image issues, please call our caring and loving counselors at 1-800-93-WOMEN. Our recovery professionals are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment and recovery services that will work for you. To love her is to help – call today!