We are all currently or have at some point suffered from body misrepresentation. So, what is it?
Body misrepresentation is when people judge you by how you look and presume that your personality is a certain way. Why is this an injustice? Because none of us have control or a say over how we look. We didn’t get to choose our bodies. Therefore, how you look on the outside can totally misrepresent who you are on the inside.
Whether we like it or not, our appearances are the first thing that people notice about us. We are automatically associated with our bodies, especially our faces. We can all make snap judgments about a person based on their appearance which can be positive or negative. If you appear to be calm and gentle, then people will presume this of you or if you have thick arched eyebrows then people might presume that you are devious in some way. It is totally unfair, but this is how the human mind has evolved.
What makes this whole thing even more bizarre is that we can often end up adapting our personalities to suit our appearances. So, if you look shy to others then you might take on that persona even though in reality you are loud and a bit cheeky. People are constantly being placed in boxes based on their appearance, we see this all the time with race, gender, age, and our abilities.
We all suffer from this unfairness whether we are the one being judged or the one doing the judging. No matter what, none of us can control how our bodies look. Yes, you can change your hair, wear makeup, and change your clothes, but at the core you are still in your body. Trying to change the unchangeable can lead us down an unhealthy path of unhealthy eating habits, diets, dangerous surgery, and “detox” products.
But there is one relief in all this injustice and that is how we see ourselves. We usually know deep down that the way we look is not who we are. The only way to make peace with misrepresentation is to learn to accept your own body. Showing kindness towards your own body will naturally lead you to show kindness to the bodies of others.
The truth is that the more at peace we are with our own bodies the less we judge the bodies of others. This peace helps you to realise more and more that people cannot control their bodies and that it’s unfair to make snap decisions or to search for other people’s faults.