Four Ways to Stop Self-Objectification


TONE Networks Logo Learning to love your body is no easy feat in today’s media-driven world, particularly when the perceived ideal body type is portrayed as something largely unattainable for the average person. And, when you base how you feel about your body on these unrealistic beauty standards alone, you are destined for disappointment. 

But, what if you could shift your thinking to recognize your body for what it truly is - a tool that provides you with the physical power to live, play and work? Positive Body Image Experts Dr. Lindsay Kite and Dr. Lexie Kite bring us four ways to bounce back from these negative self-objectifying thoughts: 

Understanding Self-Objectification

Answer this honestly: How do you feel about your body?

Did you answer this question around your fear of how others perceive your appearance? Maybe you answered using a hypothetical such as “I’d like my body more if/when…” 

You’re not alone. 

From a young age, we are taught that our bodies need fixing. In fact, entire industries are built around our physical insecurities making it difficult not to internalize our bodies as objects that don’t quite cut it against beauty standards. 

Focusing on how you may, or may not, look to others is mentally and physically exhausting. So, the next time you find yourself hyper-fixating on a perceived flaw, remember that there is a reason you are doing this - this is what you have been taught.  

Stop. Breathe.

Once you recognize you are self-objectifying, it’s time to do some self-reflection and analyze where these feelings of insufficiency are stemming from. Stop, take a few breaths and ask yourself:

“Why do I feel this way right now?

 Where is this anxiety coming from?”

These questions will not only bring you back to the here and now but will help you recognize that your feelings of inadequacy are abstract ideas that stem from a lifetime of harmful messaging.  

Appreciate Your Physical Being

The Kite sisters teach us that internal wellness is not based on how others perceive us externally and that our bodies are physical instruments – not ornaments for anyone else’s eyes.

Stop focusing on: 

  • BMI
  • Waist size
  • Number on the scale

Instead, focus on internal indicators: 

  • Metabolic levels
  • Energy
  • Nourishment

Start prioritizing how you experience the world in your body by shifting your health goals to things you can actually accomplish, thigh gap or not. Put your body to work and see just what you are capable of! 

Make a Conscious Shift 

Even if you recognize the cycle of self-objectification, it  doesn’t mean that you won’t find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of not feeling good enough. The next time you are doom-scrolling, hyper-fixating or ruminating on what others could be thinking about your body, try to immerse yourself in an activity you enjoy. 

Remember, positive body image is an ongoing process of understanding self-objectification and your triggers and consciously shifting your mindset to appreciating your body as an instrument to be used for your enjoyment.

Missed the livestream event? For more from, Lindsay Kite, PhD & Lexie Kite, PhD, catch the session on-demand. 



Read: More Than A Body: Your Body Is an Instrument, Not an Ornament

Visit their nonprofit, Beauty Redefined 

Listen to their TED Talk: Body Positivity or Body Obsession? How to See More and Be More

Follow the Kite sisters on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube


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