man looking at reflection in window

Uprooting Negative Body Image

Seeing ourselves as God sees us can improve our “body image resilience” in an objectifying world.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all looked in the mirror and found things we disliked about our bodies, be it our height, weight, hair, glasses, braces, or acne. We’ve wondered why our appearance isn’t as polished as the images of those we follow online or see in magazines and movies. Even if we know about the professional trainers, stylists, and photo editors who create the illusion of perfection, mainstream media can still damage our views of ourselves and prevent us from finding joy in life. 

A picture of a person showing a green plant, and a quote by Lexie and Lindsay Kite that says, "Trials can be opportunities to grow and improve the ways we cope."

Photo by Benjamin Combs

For Lexie Kite, PhD, and Lindsay Kite, PhD, twin sisters who grew up swimming competitively, their displeasure with how they looked in their swimsuits eventually caused them to quit the sport they loved. In their article “More Than a Body: Seeing as God Sees,” the sisters explain how their distorted body image improved after years of struggling. They write, “It wasn’t dieting or makeovers that did the trick—it was learning how our skewed views of our bodies had held us back in every way.” 

The Kite sisters identify the root of negative body image as the idea “that our bodies are the most important things about us and that we need to ‘fix our flaws’ in order to be happy.” This skewed mindset often leads to unhealthy behaviors such as eating disorders and self-harm, as well as missed opportunities in school, sports, and relationships. 

There are numerous strategies we can follow to uproot our negative body image, but they all come down to “seeing ourselves as God sees us: as children of our Heavenly Parents with inherent, unchangeable value.” It is through God’s “loving lens”not the world’sthat we can look beyond our physical appearances to see who we really are and develop “body image resilience.”

Read “More Than a Body: Seeing as God Sees” for more about Lexie and Lindsay Kite’s experience with body image and their “4 Tips to Clean Your Lens.”

Source: New Era

—Sarah Riley, Latter-day Saint Insights

FEATURE IMAGE BY LAURENZ KLEINHEIDER

Find more insights

Take a look at these ten tips for “How to Build Confidence and Self-Esteem,” by the Welfare and Self-Reliance Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Read three young adults’ experiences with eating disorders and how they learned to see their bodies as gifts from God in the article “I Thank Thee for This Body” by Starla Awerkamp Butler.

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2 Comments

  1. I love the Kite sisters (at least what I’ve seen from them). I know having a negative image impacts what I will “let” myself wear, but I never thought it could be having an impact on other parts of my life/preventing me from taking on new opportunities in other parts of my life. A much-needed insight. Thanks, Sarah!

  2. Pingback: Body Image—Why You Should Love the Skin You’re In - Latter-day Saint Insights

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