5 Ways To Prevent Negative Body Image Thinking

Negative Body Image 1

We are our harshest critics, especially when left alone with our own thoughts…

There are those moments when you first stand in front of a mirror and immediately cast a cynical eye over your body. Your mind races to areas you feel insecure about and your negative internal monologue kicks off.

“This doesn’t look toned enough.”

“I wish there were fewer blemishes here.”

“I hate the way that looks.”

It’s incredibly easy to find yourself in a shame spiral, sinking into your own self-doubt and fear, which ultimately leads to you developing an inaccurate perspective about the way you look. Everyone goes through this, for some it’s a daily struggle and for others it’s a less regular occurrence. Either way it has a massive impact on your confidence and how you hold yourself. Today, I want to talk about 5 methods to help stop these thoughts in their tracks and prevent a negative body-image mentality from taking hold of you.

1. Make A Conscious Effort to Find Things You Like

It’s very easy for us to focus on what we dislike about our bodies as our minds draw us toward the negatives. It’s why people remember negative criticism more often than compliments. If you feel yourself slipping into that “critical eye” attitude, take a moment, close your eyes, and then open them again and find 4 things you like about your body.

I’m not talking about consoling yourself with “Well, I guess this is ok…”, I mean actually looking at your body and making an effort to find 4 different things that you love. This isn’t easy to do but the more you do it, the more you realise you have a lot going for you. As you get dressed, try and find clothing that accentuates these assets to really build your confidence.

2. Re-frame Your Criticism

This is a tip I picked up from a Tweet I saw months ago – I can’t remember by whom – about changing your criticism from self-nagging to something that gives you a positive drive. For example, if I look at my arms and think “God, they look so thin!”, I stop and immediately imagine someone I really hate, someone who makes my blood boil, saying that very same thing.

For me, this is Donald Trump, an easy but effective example, and when I imagine him saying “God, your arms look so thin!” I immediately fight back with passion. I come to my own defence and find myself protecting my own body image. As I’ve said before, you ARE enough and you don’t deserve criticism from your own mind, so make sure you fight back when you feel it.

3. Talk To A Friend Or Loved One

Talking through these insecurities is a great way of getting past them as it gives you perspective and lets you clear your head of the thoughts that have been rattling around. More often than not you just need some time to vocalise what you’ve been thinking and, once you do, you immediately realise how irrational you were being. It doesn’t hurt to vent to a friend and then let them straighten you out. You are loved by many people out there and they love you for who you are. You are not a burden; not on others and not on yourself.

4. What Are You Comparing Yourself To?

I’ve talked about the negative effects of media and advertising before and how comparing yourself to these different platforms is a one-way road to self-loathing. If you notice negative thoughts surfacing about your own body, ask yourself where you are getting your “ideal image” from. Is it a movie? A magazine? An advert? All of these platforms use manipulated imagery to exaggerate certain factors. Don’t trust them and DON’T use them as concrete ideals for a realistic body. They are fantasies designed to entertain, not draw comparison.

5. Go For A Workout

Before you do, though, stop for a second. Try and use the workout to clear your mind and vent your anxiety. Don’t beat yourself up, just focus on the exercise and how it feels. Exercise not only releases endorphins (the chemicals associated with relaxation, happiness and positive thinking) but also releases the stress hormone cortisol as it focuses your mind on simple tasks giving your subconscious time to calm itself, similar to basic meditation. If exercise isn’t your thing, I highly recommend using the Headspace app which has guided 10-minute meditation classes to help gather your thoughts at any time of day. I use it every week and it is free so worth a try at least.

Stay Strong & Keep Body Positive

Thanks for checking out the post guys and, as always feel free to share it or like it if you enjoyed the read. Tweet me what you really like about your body with #PositiveBodyImage to help encourage discussion. If you want, you can comment (anonymously) on your own experiences with body image issues and what you have learnt from them. Maybe you’re still working through them. Maybe you don’t want to confront them. No matter what the situation, know that there is support out there and it starts with talking to someone.

Adam Walker - The Male Stylist

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Review: The Stoer Skincare Collection

Stoer Skincare

Earlier this year, Stoer Skincare (the brainchild of founder Marianne Morrison) had its soft launch in Harvey Nichols and rapidly became their top selling men’s cosmetics range that month. Since then I, alongside several other male bloggers, was invited to the Corinthia Hotel Spa in London to be introduced to the range, take it away for trial and discuss its creation with Marianne in greater detail. With its background firmly rooted in Scotland and crafted using the expertise of someone who spent years in the beauty industry listening to men complaining about having to buy women’s skincare as men’s was too basic, I was keen to try out this collection and give some top-level thoughts on the collection as a whole.

You can find my notes on the individual products below as well as my thoughts on packaging and pricing.

Facewash

The facewash is certainly a great sampler for the range, it’s light and refreshing whilst offering a thorough cleansing experience through a lather that doesn’t feel overly heavy. Fragrance-wise its fresh scent is great for waking me up in the morning and in the evening settles my mind before bed. It’s fantastic for getting rid of the grime of the day whilst also gently caring for your skin and soothing it.

Scrub

For me, the scrub was the weakest part of this collection. Personally, I prefer a slightly thicker exfoliating scrub (similar to Clinique for Men Facial Scrub). Having said that, after 3 weeks of use my skin has remained clear and free from spots/imperfections. It can certainly hold its own against some of the best in the market, though for me I’d like a little more of a luxurious feel through application and rinsing.

Face Mask

I’m a very big fan of this mask, it soothes and hydrates the skin leaving it feeling plump and strong. Definitely doesn’t dry out the top layer or require excessive scrubbing to remove with easy application onto damp and towel-dry skin. I particularly love the texture of it as it feels very natural compared to most non-mud face masks (which often end up feeling rubbery or artificial). Definitely a favourite in this collection.

Stoer Skincare 2

Moisturiser

I’ve definitely put this moisturiser through its paces taking it abroad, to the gym, to work and even using it on a hangover. It feels very light but doesn’t lose any of its impact of effectiveness despite its lack of weight. Skin feels immediately hydrated but without any shine or leaving skin feeling tacky. Again, very natural feeling and results in even, matte skin tone. I usually use 2-3 pumps of this per application which seems to be the perfect amount for my face.

Eye Serum

I really struggle with dark circles and I think this has been the product I’ve seen the biggest impact with. The delicate skin under my eyes feels rejuvenated and more springy, reducing the bags and dark circles I have (also useful for disguising a hangover). I love applying it and it instantly calms tired eyes and also got put through its paces whilst travelling. Combined with the facewash and moisturiser, I’ve found it to be a perfect daily skincare routine.

Packaging

I LOVE the packaging of this product. It’s sleek, minimalistic, quietly masculine and luxurious all at once. The branding is perfect and I’ve already had friends asking what the product is and if they could try it simply based on the packaging alone (this rarely happens despite all the products I’m sent). Having informed them where Stoer is stocked, they have already been out to price the collection up with a couple adopting the whole collection as a daily regime.

Stoer Skincare 3

Price

This range is aimed at the luxury market and priced that way, prices start at £24 and work their way up to £40 with the whole collection of 5 items coming in around £158. Designed as a daily skincare routine, rather than a luxury treatment, this is no doubt a tad expensive for some men on the market. However, for those of you looking for a lightweight regiment with products that work together to create healthy results, this is no doubt an option that requires the investment to see the results. For me, I’ll be picking a few of the products to work in to my current skincare collection rather than replacing mine entirely with the full range.

Thanks for checking out the post and make sure to let me know if you have any questions about the products or brand. You can also sign-up to be notified of new posts and follow The Male Stylist activity. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for style inspiration, gentleman’s musings and general fun.

Adam Walker - The Male Stylist

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What A Gent’s Wearing: Wedding Attire ft. Hardy Amies [AD]

The spring/summer months hail the beginning of wedding season and thus the opportunity to up your style game from every-day suit to a look that highlights the importance of the day, and encapsulates your personal style and character. Hardy Amies were kind enough to invite me to go in and style a new outfit which would work at any wedding. I achieved this by using classic themes with modern tailoring styles to create a sharp outfit any man can pull off.

Location: Queen’s House, Greenwich

Photography: Anton Welcome

Creating Single-Colour Style

I regularly talk about using colour to create contrasts in outfits that help them stand out and add definition. However, with this look, I wanted to use a single colour to show that a statement can still be made without needing bright colours (especially if you don’t feel confident wearing them). You can create such a statement by using great detail and sharp contrasts without lots of colour. For the most part, I’ve used navy and white to create this look but it could be done equally as well with grey, black or a dark green whilst maintaining the white accents. The cut and quality of the tailoring is what gives this suit its punch, which means you don’t have to do a great deal to make it look its best.

Breaking Down The Details

There are certain themes within the outfit that utilise classic styles to give a timeless air; the peaked lapel is an example of this, not often found in modern tailoring but gives the effect of broadening the shoulders and chest. Whilst the square-fold pocket square is most commonly seen in suited looks from the late 50s/early 60s.

The micro-dot navy tie adds subtle detail and texture to the neck and chest area with a slim-fit shirt creating a clean line underneath the waistcoat. The black-to-grey rounded glasses are a nod to the likes of Michael Caine and Gregory Peck in the hay day of silver-screen style. Finally, a small detail which embodies a more modern trend, yet works well with the overall piece, is the sockless oxblood shoes. These give a hint of Italian flair to the overall ensemble whilst offering a refined vibe of summer to the suit.

Wedding Suit: Hardy Amies - 2Wedding Suit: Hardy Amies - 3Wedding Suit: Hardy Amies - 4Wedding Suit: Hardy Amies - 5Wedding Suit: Hardy Amies - 6Wedding Suit: Hardy Amies - 8

My thanks to Hardy Amies for inviting me in and making me a part of their campaign. If you would like to find out more about their tailoring and designs, you can check out their full suit collection online, check out what’s new or go into their Savile Row store and see them for yourself. Alternatively, you can also check them out on Instagram @hardyamiesldn for style inspiration. This was a wonderful opportunity to try out some of the best suit styles in London and to challenge myself to create a new look suitable for the fast-approaching wedding season.

Thank you for checking out the post and make sure to let me know what you think of my outfit in the comments section. You can also sign-up to be notified of new posts and follow The Male Stylist activity. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for style inspiration, gentleman’s musings and general fun.

Adam Walker - The Male Stylist

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