This guide is part of the Body Confidence Course, a free video series where acclaimed sex coach Georgia Grace and psychologist Rashida Dungarwalla share the insights and exercises they use to help their clients build more body confidence every day.
Cultural influences can play a huge role in our sense of body confidence. From an early age we’re all exposed to a range of societal norms, beauty standards, and body ideals that can differ from culture to culture. These messages aren’t just communicated through TV and media, but through our friends, family, and community groups. If we grew up hearing that it’s ‘good’ to look or behave one way, and ‘bad’ to look or behave another, it’s only natural that those ideals might stick with us into adulthood.
As much as it can be important to cherish some parts of our culture and upbringing, it can also be useful to dispose of those things that no longer serve us or are no longer helping us to live the life we want.
As a small exercise, we invite you to think about a belief or assumption that was relayed to you when you were younger. Where did this belief come from? Who passed it on to us? Why was it told to us? Consider it in light of the person you are now—is it something that continues to be helpful? How has it affected our adult selves? Is it useful to hold on to it, or is it time to let it go?