We strive for perfection, especially with regards to our body for many reasons: to be flawless, to be loved, and to be socially included. But what happens when the strive to be perfect has a negative cost on our physical and mental health? Allison Newell, one of our fabulous DiSH RAs, wrote the cover story for the newest issue of UCLA’s Total Wellness magazine titled “In The Pursuit of Bodily Perfection.” Her article covers issues regarding body image and risks associated with the drive to pursue “bodily perfection,” such as restrictive dieting, extreme exercise, eating disorders, and more. She also references Dr. T’s paper on cortisol and dieting as one example of the negative long-term effects of low calorie dieting.
Allison also explains how striving for the “ideal body” takes a toll on mental health, as these individuals tend to have body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and body image disturbances that leads to negative changes in health behaviors. Therefore, it is important for individuals to realize that the current image of an ideal body are both unrealistic and biological unattainable, and that it is time to take a new perspective on how we view ourselves and our body.
Click here to read Allison’s article on page 30.