Although we are told that body image isn’t really the result of what we see in the mirror but rather how our minds perceive us to be, Svetlana Wickstrom knows that this is only a half truth. “Of course, we can look simply radiant to those around us but still see a gangly frump in the mirror, but there are times when we know we can look better, and it is a fact that looking better makes you feel better about yourself.” So, what can you do to tip the balance in your favor? Svetlana Wickstrom weighs in on the connection between body image and mental health.
A Word About This Amazing Woman
Before delving into what Svetlana says, let’s take a look at her credentials. She is a board certified histotechnician with years of experience in a pathology lab. If you understand what she did for all those years, you’d understand what qualifies her to make statements like the above. She is more than just a spokeswoman for Birdie and Peppers skin care products. Svetlana worked behind the microscope for years delving into the pathology of tissues, healthy and unhealthy, and this is one lady who knows full well how to promote a healthier, younger looking image in that dreaded mirror!
She often enlightens her audience to the benefits of maintaining skin health but encourages us, “Don’t always listen, look.” when referring to labeling. “Many manufacturers in the skincare industry are not regulated in the same way as the custom manufacturing industry in that what’s on the label is not always what’s in the product. Be aware of who is actually making your lotion, it’s going on your skin.”
It Isn’t Really All About Your Emotional State
What Svetlana knows is that self-image isn’t always about how you feel about yourself. It isn’t always a combination of events in your personal history that brought you to this stage in your life. There are times when you know that a dab of lipstick will make you look better, and she is right there! There are other times when those tiny frown lines belie your age and that’s something you would like to avoid. Is it because you fear getting older or how old you are perceived to be by those around you? Perhaps, but isn’t that more about what you’d like to accomplish than how you have a failing self-image based on age?
Society Is What It Is
In other words, you can say all you want about not catering to what those around you want you to look like, but that could be a huge mistake. When you are out looking for a job, as an example, you know you are more than competent, have the credentials to back up your assumption but lose the job to someone with half your education and/or experience. Could it be that you were so self-assured that you didn’t dress appropriately for the interview? The other applicant took the time to do a bit of company research and dressed according to that company’s culture. Society being what it is will judge you on your appearance, there is no denying that.
Svetlana encourages women to be happy in the body they were given, but she goes on to say, “That doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to look our best! How others see you can be the result of how you look and that will, in the end, affect how you see yourself much of the time.” So, are self-image and mental health connected? “Yes, they are,” she says, “But not in the way we were taught to believe.”