Sometimes, it’s just so hard to feel good in your own skin. It’s also easy to compare your body with that of others or give in to what other people say.
Well, you’re not alone in your struggle. Over 80% of women and 34% of men in the United States aren’t satisfied with the way they look, according to the report, “Teens, Social Media, and Body Image” by Park Nicollet Melrose Center, featured on the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health website. In fact, more than 70% of women surveyed who had normal weight still wanted to be thinner. The National Eating Disorders Association says this view of one’s body can lead to eating disorders and feelings of isolation and depression.
In light of these disheartening facts, medical professionals, influencers, and parents in Utah and other states must underscore the need to be confident in one’s own body. Although there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look better, your physical beauty and people’s acceptance of it should not affect your self-esteem.
Here’s how you can start being confident with your body.
Always Look for the Positive
When you’re not happy with your body image, you can get lost in seeing all the negative things about yourself. Shift your focus on the better parts of your life! Be thankful for having a loving family or partner. Give your pet some nice pats and hugs. Bask in the glory of that recent promotion or raise. Define yourself in your positive traits instead of your negative thoughts about your body.
Stop Criticizing Yourself
You are your worst critic – that’s true. You may feel like you’re only being realistic in pointing out your flaws, but you’re really not helping yourself. Instead of always saying “I hate my legs” or “My belly is too big,” start asking yourself what you can improve and work from there. If you feel like you’re too heavy, look for weight loss diets or exercises, or opt for cool sculpting. As important as it is to improve yourself, you shouldn’t push yourself to the limit trying to live up to unrealistic expectations, especially if you’re already healthy the way you are.
Unplug from Mainstream and Social Media
One of the reasons you may be feeling uncomfortable with your body is because you’re comparing it to others. Remember that the beauty standards shown on television don’t always matter in the greater scheme of things. You don’t have to look like the models and influencers you follow on social media, either. Go ahead and wear some comfortable clothing and go out without any makeup. You’ll find that the stress of conforming to unrealistic standards of beauty isn’t worth it.
Set the Tone
As much as you love your friends and family, you can’t avoid the occasional slip-up about your weight or curves. Give people a guide on how to talk to you, or about you, so they don’t end up mentioning something hurtful next time. If you’re not feeling good about your weight, tell them straight up to stop mentioning it. It will help them be more mindful when they talk to you or other people who aren’t as confident about their body, too.
Your environment might also be a factor in your negative body image. If you find that you are surrounded by people who put you down or say negative things about you, it’s best to leave the group or place and find another one where you can be yourself.
Prioritize yourself above all else, find a positive aspect in yourself that you can improve further, and most of all, remember that you’re more than just your body!