Negative body image is a subject that is very important and affects many young people. Negative body image is when you may not like the way your body looks, feel self-conscious or unconfident about your body. Young people affected may become engrossed in their idea of a perfect body for themselves and can try to change their appearance in unhealthy ways, for example skipping meals. Both girls and boys can suffer from negative body image so remember that you aren’t alone and can get help.
7/10 girls surveyed said that they had put their health at risk to reduce weight, like skipping meals and 47% of men admitted to being unsatisfied with their bodies.
Negative body image amongst young people is widespread and can often be associated with the media. Often the media can portray unhealthy and false body types as normal and typical among everyone. This is called Unrealistic Body Expectations and is linked to negative body image.
Tips on how to help with negative body image
- TALK: open up to anyone about what you’re going through, so you can get support.
- ACCEPT: try to accept your body by looking after it, buy some nice clothes that you like, set time aside every day to have a self-care routine where you look after your body (e.g. skincare routine, wash your hair, have a relaxing bath)
- LEARN: trying to have a new outlook on things can be hard to grasp. So slowly learn how to reconsider things with a different perspective.
- BUSY: get yourself occupied, discover a new hobby. This may help to distract yourself. For example, reading, exercise, baking, mindfulness colouring.
- AWARE: remember that some of the images you see are photoshopped, so try not to compare yourself.
- RECOGNISE: recognise when you are being harsh towards yourself or putting yourself down and try to focus on the positives instead.
- HELP: as much as these tips can help to improve your body confidence, if you are still struggling seek professional help by visiting your GP or doctor
Try to remember, you are unique and amazing!