“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
I am sure you have read this sentence before or at least heard of it. It can’t go unnoticed or unheard from any girl’s life. While this sentence was immortalised by the evil queen from the fairy tale “Snow White,” over the years it has transcended the good-bad ethics and cast a spell on the psyche of young girls and women alike.
It has subtly made aesthetics a vital aspect of one’s persona, the most desirable attrib ute. They might not think of being the fairest (or they might), but most desire to be the prettiest of all with an hourglass figure.
This is where we have gone wrong. Creating a distorted mindset about body image for young girls from a very tender age. It is no wonder that young girls dealing with the challenges of certain health conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) suffer so much in silence because of body image issues.
Beyond The Hormonal Havoc
The problems associated with PCOS start to show up at the onset of puberty and continue to do so till the late 30s or early 40s. If not managed conducively, it can lead to physical and mental health crises.
PCOS is a condition where a woman has higher than normal levels of testosterone (male sex hormone) in the body, and it doesn’t stay there to be kind to her in any way.
The most common physical problems young girls and women have to face due to PCOS are –
The health conditions that PCOS can trigger are –
While most health conditions due to PCOS don’t have a visible effect, problems like acne, facial hair, being overweight and hair loss make a dent in a woman’s self-esteem. They could also be a reason for unending stress in her life. Sometimes it takes years of therapy and counselling to see oneself without the lens of PCOS. Appearance issues make it difficult for one to have a positive outlook towards body image.
Some studies suggest that women with PCOS have BID (body image distress) that can lead to anxiety and depression. But depression and anxiety is not just a result of BID; hormonal imbalances, effects of medicine can impact one’s mental well-being too.
The Mirror Doesn’t Tell You The Whole Truth
It takes some amount of empathy, understanding and a multidimensional approach to reinstate positivity among young girls who are dealing with body image challenges because of PCOS.
The idea is to talk to young girls about all things beautiful, beyond the body. Building a strong personality from a tender age gives girls power to endure, accept and embrace – oneself without any inhibitions – acne, weight issues, thinning hair be damned.
Inculcating The Right Perception of Body Image From The Early Years – The Dos And Don’ts
If you have a teenage daughter, sister or know anyone in her teens or twenties who is trying hard to deal with body image issues along with PCOS, STOP doing these things around them.
Dealing with the challenges of PCOS is not easy, we know that. Our HealPCOS program is built on the sole principle to heal and deal with its challenges providing easy-to-follow nutrition and weight management advice. Our program also stresses the importance of psychological counselling to improve one’s body image perception and improve mental well-being.
For more information visit, https://www.fitterfly.com/heal-pcos or give us a missed call on +91 9324 976 363
Body-image distress is increased in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and mediates depression and anxiety Alur-Gupta, Snigdha et al. Fertility and Sterility, Volume 112, Issue 5, 930 - 938.e1 Published:August 05, 2019 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2019.06.018
Bazarganipour, F., Ziaei, S., Montazeri, A., Foroozanfard, F., Kazemnejad, A., & Faghihzadeh, S. (2013). Body image satisfaction and self-esteem status among the patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Iranian journal of reproductive medicine, 11(10), 829–836.
Thomas, Semara & Pastore, Lisa. (2013). Body image and quality of life of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Handbook on Body Image: Gender Differences, Sociocultural Influences and Health Implications. 413-424.
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