With calls for equal pay and gender equality becoming more prominent and expected in today’s society one would think that maintaining a positive body image would be easier. Let’s face it the fact of the matter is that there are tons of TV shows, magazines, and other obstacles to make this quite the task. Adding social media into the mix can leave girls feeling like they just don’t measure up to what society expects of them: beauty and brains.
Teens are vulnerable to comparing themselves to their favorite celebrity. When girls compare themselves to others it puts their self worth and self concept into whether they’re as skinny as celebrity A or B (or C), and that will leave them feeling unfulfilled.
To combat these issues, and to prevent dangerous behavior, try applying the following tips:
• Talk and Listen
Share your concerns or feelings with your mom or a trusted female adult. I’m sure they’ve struggled with body image, too. Discussing your concerns will let you see that you aren’t the only one who has felt this way, and you’ll get to see that life goes on and these feelings don’t decide who you become, you are the one that decides.
• Find a Body Role Model
Find a friend, sister, mother who is comfortable with their body, and take that as advice. Seeing someone comfortable with their own body and talking about why they love their body may make you feel more comfortable with yours, too. It is also important that this individual has a healthy relationship with food. You don’t want to think that if you have a cookie that you did something bad.
• Practice Being Positive
Sometimes life is going to knock you down. You may get a pimple on picture day or have a bad hair day for the first day of school. You need to have a positive attitude and train yourself to say, “It stinks to have a pimple on picture day, but I will be ok”. Throw on that concealer, girlfriend and pair it with a smile!
• Be Active!
Not every girl is excited for sports; in fact some girls cringe at the thought of getting sweaty. Train yourself to be active. Exercise is a great stress reliever, and powerful mood enhancer. Going for a run or to the gym is a great way to work off stress and to feel better mentally and physically. Find a workout buddy and exercise may become more than necessary. It may become fun!
• Cover up, Buttercup
When you think of being modest you may think of what a nun would wear, but you don’t have to take it to that extreme. By covering up and not hanging out of your clothes you are able to be appreciated for more than your curves. Covering up also teaches you to value yourself for more than your body.
By applying some of these tips to your life you will develop a greater sense of self worth, you will learn to appreciate yourself for who you are, and you will be able to focus on who you want to become.