Written by: Bianca Lambert
Published by: Essence
Wellness Experts Share how to Ditch Diet Culture and Embrace your Body in 2023
Self-love is the best love, they say. However, learning to look in the mirror and love what you see can be more challenging than it seems, even on our best days. Paula Edwards-Gayfield, licensed professional counselor and certified eating disorder specialist, regional assistant vice president at The Renfrew Center and contributor to the book, Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide, says it’s deeply complex. Body image encompasses not just what we see but also the beliefs we carry about ourselves—many influenced by the traditional media, advertising, social media, and even our families.
For Black women, this is often a layered experience beyond weight. “As much as I believe that we as Black women and people of color are increasingly accepting of the diverse [body] images, we continue to be influenced by various sociocultural influences,” she tells ESSENCE.
So as we walk into this year, how can we center learning to love ourselves, while acknowledging the things that make us feel self-conscious without going into overdrive to “fix” or change who we are?
Well, the answer to that question is complex. However, there are a few things Edwards-Gayfield and registered dietitian nutritionist Marisa Moore say we can do to jumpstart our journeys.
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