identity and body

Identity and body is about who you are! Having an identity is a human right! It recognizes your existence in society as an individual. For example, you have the right to a name, nationality and so many other rights, you have the right to express yourself in the way you feel:

  • Choosing your clothes
  • Choosing your friends
  • Showing your cultural identity
  • Choosing your religion
  • Expressing your feelings

“Identity and body cannot be found or fabricated but emerges from within.”  as exposed by Doug Couper (American writer).

You have the willpower to have a sexual identity. This means that you can express your sexual orientation, choose a partner for yourself and choose to identify {or not} with a gender. To know more about sexual identity, it’s important you take a  course on that.

To feel good about who you are, you need to have self-esteem, confidence and self-respect. You can get more confident by thinking positively about the things you are good at and what you like about yourself: “I am a good orator” or “I am a good student” or “I am good at sports”… If you think positive things about yourself and your future, it is more likely it will come to be!

How Your Identity And Body Are Formed

Your identity forms as you grow up, and are influenced by your personal thought, environmental and cultural experiences. Belonging to a certain group, for example family, friends, students, a community, a religious group or a sports club can be of a good help in developing your identity. Being part of a group, means you interact with other people. In your interaction with them, you find out what you like or dislike. When being part of a group or society, you can relate and identify yourself with people of a high reputation. This will posibly  affect your self-esteem. But you can also learn who you are and who you really want to be by being yourself!  for everyone else is taken. Remember also that  you could be a part of different groups yet you might behave in a different manner or be seen differently – this is another aspect of our identity – it is never only one thing but a combination of many ‘identities’.

Your body image is also part of your identity. Body image refers to how you evaluate your own body. It is normal for people to have an opinion about their bodies, some people are perfectly happy with their body, others don’t like their bodies at all. Both men and women feel pressure to comply with a body image and might feel insecure about this trait.

Practical Guideline

The best way to be comfortable with your own body and to have a positive self-image is to simply cross check yourself on the following:

  •  what is your favourite style? How do you wear your hair?
  • Know your body structure and understand that it is unique.
  • Understand that media images are not ‘real’ or ‘perfect’ as alwyas presented.
  • Keep a good hygiene and take good care of your body.

Now you understand what identity is all about. let’s take a look  on the following:

  • Read the story of a Kenyan writer and how his sexuality was criticized to see how others deal with their identity.
  • Do the quiz to test your own self esteem
  • Use the reflective questions to think about your own identity.
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