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24.2.11


Almost every woman has felt insecure about her body at some stage. But according to a new survey, it happens much more than you'd imagine.
It revealed that a staggering 97 per cent of women have at least one negative thought about their bodies every day.
The poll of 300 women commissioned by Glamour magazine, found some have over 100 negative or anxious thoughts about their body shape, though on average there were 13 - almost one for every waking hour.

Psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke, who helped design the survey, said of the results: 'That is a lot, yet I'm not totally surprised.

'It's become such an accepted norm to put yourself down that if someone says she likes her body, she's the odd woman out.'
'I was in a group discussion recently, and when one woman said, "I actually feel OK about the way I look," another woman scrunched up her face and said, "I have never in my whole life heard anyone say that - and I'm not sure I even believe you." 

That's how pervasive this negative body talk is. It's actually more acceptable to insult your body than to praise it.
'Friends getting together and tearing themselves down is such a common thing that it's hard to avoid.'
She added that cultural beauty ideals set by magazines and celebrities influence our opinions of ourselves - but habit has also made the mental habit a norm.

'Neuroscience has shown that whatever you focus on shapes your brain. If you're constantly thinking negative thoughts about your body, that neural pathway becomes stronger—and those thoughts become habitual,' Kearney-Cooke added.
'Imagine a concert pianist. Her brain would have stronger neural pathways that support musicality and dexterity than someone who hadn't spent her life practicing.'


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