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Body Confidence, Body Positivity, And Self Esteem

By: Jan C. Shope, M.A., LPC-S

Body positivity. We see this term used a lot but what does it mean?

Body positivity can mean different things for different people but the consensus is that it's essentially challenging one's self to accept (and eventually embrace and even love) who you are today, just as you are, instead of the visceral need for “perfection” or approval.

In a world where we’ve been force-fed what “normal” or “perfect” should look like, many of us believe that we don’t fit into this mold, and so the idea of being ourselves never stood a chance. Add our deep-rooted cultural behavior in being self-deprecating and you are left with a pretty unhealthy mindset. Not only are we convinced that we don’t fit in but we compound the problem by putting ourselves down because of it.

I can relate. As a woman, I can admit that the pressure of looking a particular way leaves me less self-confident than I should be or can be and when you add age to the equation you add a new weight and look at what is considered, beautiful or even normal. It takes experience and confidence to stand confidently in your skin- and to realize you can be different things in different environments. The notion that there is a ‘one size fits all’ basis to perfection or a certain idea of beauty is ridiculous, considering how different we all are. It’s a tall order not to compare ourselves to others. This has not been helped by the images that we see online via Instagram or mainstream advertising.

We all look different from one another but ironically we aim to look like one another. We seem to have a need for what other people have. I wish I had her skin or her legs etc. can easily be repeated in your mind several times in a few short scrolls…. if you’re not careful. Getting rid of it-whatever that perceived shortcoming is- only serves the purpose of re-affirming that you’re not good enough as you are, in your own skin.

In the next few months, Lake Travis Counseling Connection will be establishing group counseling sessions centered around body confidence, and positivity. We will be using the book “The Body is Not An Apology. "

While we know men face many of the same issues at this time out groups will be strictly female. If you are interested in becoming part of the group-please either drop an email to our administrator with the Subject of “My Body is Not an Apology”. Include your name and when the group opens up we will start reaching out in numerical order to those interested in the group sessions. OR you may use the contact form on this website.


Jan Shope, MS LPC-S: She is a practical, interactive, solution-focused therapist. Her treatment approach is collaborative in nature and aimed at providing support and practical feedback to help clients resolve current problems and long-standing patterns. She incorporates a blend of conventional and creative approaches, drawing upon a variety of styles and techniques to incorporate what will be most helpful for each client. With sensitivity and compassion, she works with each client to help them build on their strengths to identify and achieve life goals.


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