So, am I? I have ultimately big belly from years of drinking sodas. I have arms that screams fat and hairy parts that is just to embarrassing to speak off. Although I find myself always wearing sexy clothes esp during parties, I would be aware of how I sit down and move so my big belly won't show. Though I wear tube and off-shoulder dresses, I cringe on seeing my picture because I only see my arms. And I pay a lot of money to have my legs and underarm hairswaxed off. When people compliment me on my style or my figure, I would put them off by saying that its not true and follow it up with "NO, I'm fat!"
I don't have the skinny figure that is seen on every magazine, billboards and of course even my friends. I can't wear a bikini unless i know I'm in the company of people whom I'm comfortable with and knows my figure (or lack thereof).
So the obvious answer to the question is a big whopping YES! I am body conscious.
I am too hard on myself, right? Apparently, I am not alone in this ordeal. There is even a medical term for the severe type of body consciousness, called body dysmorphic disorder or BDD. BDD represents the extreme of Bad body image that hinders a person to function well on a daily basis because of being fixated or obsessed with the flaws in their bodies. To know if one has this, you must be completely obsessed in your appearance and go through extreme lengths to change it like continuous cosmetic surgeries. Consult also a medical expert to know if you have BDD.
I am quite sure that I don't have BDD but I am nevertheless conscious of my body and silently wish that I look like some of the models that I meet. They seem to have no limitation with how they move and what to wear.
However, being the cheerful-always-looking-at-the-bright-side Shen that I am, I always find ways to see myself in the good light (literally and non-literally). I also make the effort of finding non-evasive ways to improve how I look. There is life after big tummy after all and I can't let the fats around my arms disrupt me from fulfilling my goals.
So how did I survive all these years with being body concsious?
2. Stand up straight. Being aware of your spine and straightening it always provide a look of confidence that even at your worst day, you'd look 10 feet tall and fabulous. But don't make yourself look like a military soldier.
4. Have some fashion courage. Stop limiting yourself with with what you wear!! I admire Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Tyra Banks and Oprah in their fashion forward outfits especially on the red carpet. Not only Paris Hilton can pull off a Herve couture, you know. :) Be a little adventurous by buying outfits that you otherwise wouldn't be able to do. Usually, I can pull off a tube dress by simply wearing a stylish belt to side my tummy.
5. Use body enhancing products wisely. Do not by all means use anything that is not FDA approved. There many products in the market now that promises to reduce body fats in certain parts of the body, to eliminate cellulites or whiten skin. Always do some research before buying any of these or consult your doctor.
Personally, I use products that is easily found in groceries or reputable online shops. Veet is my friend in terms of waxing, Johnson's Body Care 24 hour Lasting Moisture to keep my skin soft, Silka Papaya for whitening and Indigo Baby Yummy Mummy Anti-stretchmark Oil. These are not miracle products but what I consider to be working for me despite the slow process.
7. Learn to love what you have and don't have. I've resigned myself that I will never be too thin or tall enough. Bottom line is, physical appearance isn't worth that much if you don't know your true worth. Surround yourself with positiveness. :)
BDD reference from Shape Magazine, June 2002, by Michelle Stacey found on this site.
Red Carpet photos of Leighton Meester and America Ferrera from this site.