In most situations in our lives, if we believe that we can improve ourselves, then we feel better. Pursuing higher levels of fitness can benefit us both physically, emotionally and mentally. It seems that having this so-called Growth Mindset, is unconditionally good. However research reported in the journal, Social Cognition last year suggests otherwise.
Researchers in Oklahoma found that women who believe they can be more beautiful by changing their appearance, have a much higher risk of anxiety which is related to their looks, than those who are more accepting of themselves as they are. Such women were also more likely to be interested in cosmetic surgery, according to this study. The same effect was not observed in men. The media may be a big factor.
The presentation of very specific body types and shapes as “the desirable norm”, often with images have been changed technologically, sets a bench-mark which for many women is completely unobtainable. The conclusion is that it is better for your mental well-being to accept yourself for who you are and how you look, and to challenge the stereotypes presented in the media, and any self-talk that unfavourably compares you with those images.