… Hands up who sang Justin Timberlake when reading the heading? Just me? … oh.
Body confidence. Man, oh man. Where to start?
I don’t have a lot of it but that’s more due to pressures I put on myself than those enforced by others. The media is FULL of people shaming others for the way that they choose to live their lives and express themselves. I’m sick of it!
At 5ft 3″ and a size 10-12, *insert current hot model here* I ain’t! I’ve got squidgy bits, I could happily go weeks without shaving my legs (sorry PJ!) and I very rarely wear make-up. Does this mean I’m sucking at being a woman? Hell no! Have we all learnt nothing from Mean Girls?
At the one end of the spectrum, low body confidence can make you miserable. Deep, gut-achingly miserable. At the other end, it can lead to serious issues. A study by the NHS in 2012 showed that 1% of the UK population suffer from body dysmorphic disorder. More worrying is that they believe this number to be considerably higher as most sufferers hide it or play down how serious their symptoms are.
So, what can you do to feel just a little better about the skin you’re in?
1. Stop Comparing yourself to others.
Easier said than done, I know! Remember that everyone has one part of themselves they wish they could change. Wishing you could look more like that girl you saw rocking a red lipstick isn’t going to change who you are or how you look. Cripes, if it did I’d be looking like Jessica Chastain’s double right now! You look like you (well, duh) and you are beautiful and unique.
2. Learn to love yourself
The more you take the time to look after your body, the more you’ll start to appreciate every aspect of it. Pamper yourself more often. Find one thing to compliment yourself on each day. It doesn’t even need to be a physical attribute. Just a few positive nods to yourself could make all the difference.
3. stop thinking “perfect” – Start thinking “healthy”
If you want to make changes to how you look, make changes to the way you live. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, drinking more water and (god forbid) exercising will all really make a difference to how you see and feel about yourself.
4. Dress for you
This might sound really simple, but make sure that you’re wearing clothes that fit you properly. A good outfit can boost your mood and your confidence sky-high! And while we’re talking clothes, try to stay away from looking at size labels when you shop. One shops 12 might be another shops 16 (I’m looking at you H&M)
5. Know when to ask for help.
If you feel like it’s taking over your life. Talk to someone. No-one is going to judge you for how you feel (and if they do, I’ll punch them on the nose). Everyone in the world is different. Everyone feels different. If you don’t feel ready to talk to someone directly, take a look at Mind. They have some excellent information on a whole range of issues and advice on getting help.
And remember, always try to be someone who makes you happy.