CBF View: Aspirational Body Image

CBF View: Aspirational Body Image

Body image is ranked in the top three concerns for young people in Australia. Some would say it’s an epidemic that continues to rise.

Here are some startling stats:

  • More than 50% of adults from the US, UK, Australia, France and Germany reported experiencing weight stigma
  • Nearly 23% of Australian women report an overvaluation of weight and shape.
  • Nearly 70% of adult women report withdrawing from activities due to their body image.
  • In one Switzerland study of 1000 adult women (aged 30-74 years), despite 73% of women falling within the normal weight range, more than 70% of these women expressed a desire to be thinner. This trend also held true for older women (> 65 years); 65% were of normal weight, yet 62% of these women wished to be thinner.
  • Nearly 80% of young teenage girls report fears of becoming fat.
  • Nearly 15% of Australian men report an overvaluation of weight and shape.
  • From a sample of Australian adolescents, 6.8% of boys and 19.6% of girls reported clinically significant body dissatisfaction.

Source here:

The term "aspirational body image" is often used in the fitness industry to describe the type of body that people are striving for. It usually refers to a slim and toned physique with very little body fat. While there's nothing wrong with wanting to look like this, the problem arises when people compare themselves to unrealistic standards and start feeling bad about their own bodies. One of the biggest problems with aspirational body image is that it can lead to unhealthy behaviours such as crash dieting, over-exercising, and using weight loss supplements.

It's important to make sure that you're not comparing yourself to unrealistic standards.  Feeling positive about your appearance is a personal journey. We can all feel unhappy about how we look every now and again, but if you find these feelings persist for more than a few weeks, or encompass a large proportion of your thoughts, it might be time to consider some support.  Aspiring to be the best version of yourself is a great goal to have, but when that aspiration is purely about your appearance, it can be a concern.  You are more than just how you look.  You have talents, skills, strengths and achievements.  Celebrate who you are as a whole, not just the skin you are in.

The pressure to look perfect is real, and it's only getting worse thanks to social media. Every day, we're bombarded with images of perfectly toned bodies and perfect skin. It's easy to compare ourselves to these unrealistic standards and come up short. Try to engage in a diverse range of media and social channels, and remember that everyone shows the best version of themselves as a minimum, and in more extreme cases utilise filters and photoshop to create something that isn’t really there.  You will never be able to achieve those sorts of appearances naturally.

I don’t want to conform to what society says is aspirational.  According to the dictionary, aspiration is "a hope or ambition of achieving something."  So, when it comes to body image, perhaps we should aspire to simply be the best version of ourselves.

For more information on how to boost your body image, or to seek support with poor body image eating disorders.  Visit https://butterfly.org.au/.



Email us for a returns label.


On all Orders Over $100


We send CBF anywhere