By: Akshita Paudel

Body image directs an individual’s thoughts or perceptions about their own body. It can be both positive and negative. There are numerous factors influencing our opinions on body image, such as the media, puberty, family, and many more. A person having concerns about their body image can suffer from severe anxiety, resulting in low self-esteem and confidence.

Ms. Sadichha Shrestha, former Miss Nepal, and Ms. Saloni Rajbhandari, a media personality, were invited to speak on the topic. The aim was to educate the students in grade 5 regarding body image and its effects on an individual. Both of these women, being media personalities and public figures, have had to deal with various issues concerning body image. For putting almost their whole lives out on social media, it is common that they both have to struggle with criticism and hateful comments about their bodies. They shared their stories and experiences about how the media influences people’s perceptions of their bodies and how it is an individual’s responsibility to maintain a positive body image. This was followed by a very interactive question-and-answer session between the students and the guest speakers

This program on body image was extremely helpful and the students in grade 5 got to know about the good and bad sides of body image. Furthermore, Ms. Sadichha and Ms. Saloni contributed to promoting a healthy and positive attitude towards body image. In a short interview session conducted with one of the students at Premier International IB World School, Ms. Alina Giri, about body image, she shared her struggles and the judgment she went through as a growing teenager and how it impacted her. This condemnation, she said, affected her mentally, but she was able to overcome it. She stated that “When you think you are doing okay and, for the moment, you are happy, then in life, you are just going to encounter people, either friends or family members, who just want to comment on your body. Even though their intention was the opposite.”

As a result, as the world’s global village, we scroll through feeds looking for ‘perfection,’ but what matters is how you care for your body because you will be living in it for the rest of your lives. One should be confident in how they look and feel, and what you think about yourself matters more than what others think of you. Hence, each individual should try to promote a healthy environment and stop body shaming.