There’s no use denying it, practicing body positivity is flippin’ tough. You guys know as well as we do that feeling confident about the way you look isn’t easy – especially when we’re bombarded with ‘perfect’ photos of celebs and bloggers on social media every single day.
Perfect doesn’t exist, though. None of us are stupid – we know deep down that celebs and bloggers also have days where they feel uncomfortable with their bodies and the way they look.
But, unfortunately, that doesn’t stop us from comparing ourselves to them and letting those images affect the perceptions we have of our own appearance.
In 2016, Dove Global Beauty interviewed 10,500 women and girls from 13 different countries. The UK’s one of the countries with the lowest body confidence scores and 80% of us said we’re unhappy with the way we look.
65% of girls also felt pressure from the media to look a certain way and 79% of them opted out of activities like seeing friends or family because they don’t like the way they look.
We’re firm believers that no one deserves to feel ashamed of their body. Although it’s hard to do, we should all embrace the skin we’re in.
That’s why we’ve come up with a few steps that will help you become more body confident.
1. Talk about body shape in a POSITIVE way
We talk about our bodies a lot – but how much of what we say is actually positive? The chances are you’ve probably sat down with a group of friends and complained that your “arms are TOO chubby for a sleeveless dress” or your “thighs are revolting”. This kind of talk does nothing for our confidence.
We ALL have different body shapes and it’s important to recognise this. After all, some of us are top heavy and some of us are bottom heavy. Some have curves, others don’t.
One way we can all be more body positive is to stop making sweeping generalisations about what’s right and what’s wrong in regards to the way we look.
Thighs aren’t disgusting – they’re there for a reason and we all have different shaped ones. Equally, who the heck said you can’t wear a piece of clothing just because your arms are a certain way?
Not sure about you, but we’d definitely like to have words with this mysterious person because that’s ridiculous!
2. Understand that one size doesn’t fit all
You should also try not to get too hung up over clothing sizes.
We all know that the sizes in high street stores vary drastically. A size 10 in H&M might be a size 12 in Topshop and vice versa.
Pay NO attention to the number on the label and instead focus on buying clothes that you feel good in.
3. Throw away clothes that don’t make you feel good
Some spring cleaning is in order! Get rid of the clothes you hang on to for the wrong reasons! Because body acceptance starts right here and right now. . . . #circlesofchange #selflove #selfcare #springcleaning #spring #todolist #ihaveembraced #selflovesunday #selfcaresunday #everybodyisayogabody #everybodyyoga #everybodymatters #everybodyisayogabody #everybodyisbeautiful #neda #loveyourbody #loveyourcurves #honoryourbody
We grow mentally and physically every single day, so why do we take pride in fitting into a pair of jeans we had five year ago? It seems slightly ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Build a wardrobe that makes you feel incredible 24/7. Even on the days where you feel icky or bloated – you still deserve clothing that makes you feel awesome.
4. Accept that somedays you’re going to feel insecure
Speaking of off days, it’s important to accept that there ARE days when you’re going to feel insecure. We’re only human. Our moods are constantly changing and there will be times that you feel awful with the way you look. It’s natural and in order to practice body confidence, we need to accept these moments.
Try not to get mad at yourself and definitely don’t fall into despair over them. Take each day as it comes and try to remember that feeling confident is a journey in itself.
5. Learn more about body positivity
There are some fantastic websites and organisations out there that help teach teens about body confidence. They’re incredible when you’re stuck in a slump, are having an off day or simply feel down about the way you look.
A great UK resource is the Be Real Campaign. On their website you can find hundreds of blog posts from a wide range of people.
A few of our favourites include: ‘My battle against the media to love myself’ and ‘You are your own worst critic – said everyone at some point’.
6. Remind yourself that you DON’T have to lose weight
Get rid of your bathroom scales! You don’t have to lose weight to be confident with the way you look.
We fully admit, whenever we’ve complained about our bodies in the past, some friends have told us to “lose weight”. At the time, we accepted it and thought it was a rational thing to do, but that shouldn’t be the case.
Why do we tell others to lose weight and put themselves under the pressures of diet culture when really we should encourage them to love the skin they’re in?!
So, quit weighing yourself. If you want to exercise do it because it’s something you enjoy. Don’t do it just for your appearance.
7. Look in the mirror on a daily basis
Another thing you can do is not shy away from your reflection. Many people who practice body positivity say that looking into the mirror on a daily basis helps them feel more confident.
Often the way we think about our “flaws” is blown out of proportion – they’re not “flaws” at all. Stretch marks tell stories and cellulite is something we ALL have. Scars add character whilst birth marks are something that makes you completely unique – be proud of these things.
8. Write down what you LIKE about your body
You should also write down the things you like about your body or say them out loud. Stop focusing on the negatives all the time by praising the positives.
9. Follow body positive Instagram accounts
The project is “aiming to better the life of girls and women worldwide by displaying a true, beautiful, positive and un-retouched image of women in photo and video campaigns”.
You can follow heaps of body positive account’s like Charli’s by searching hashtags like #bodypositivity and #bodyconfidence.
10. Try not to judge other people’s bodies
It’s easy to judge or scrutinise other people’s bodies – particularly when the media does it on a daily basis. But try not to. It’s not nice nor is it healthy.
11. Accept compliments more
Us Brits sure do have a problem with accepting compliments, don’t we? How many times have you brushed one aside or played it down? Well, don’t.
You don’t need to be arrogant about them, but accept them, say thank you and don’t shy away from the lovely words people say!
12. Surround yourself with body positive people
All of these steps will help change your mindset and the way you think about your body, but one thing that may affect them is surrounding yourself with negative people.
Share these tips with your friends and encourage them to start embracing and loving their own bodies as opposed to changing them.
Do you have any tips for becoming more body confident? Let us know in the comments below.