Body image issues are something that we all go through no matter what gender, age, race, religion or country you live in.
It’s especially common in teenagers and young adults who are surrounded by a society that constantly ridicules each other. With TV, magazines, billboards and social media bombarded with images of what the ideal person and body should look like, it’s a wonder why we all never feel good enough.
Every time I go on Instagram I see pictures of these insanely good looking girls. From the perfect skin, hair, body, style, makeup, lifestyle etc. a jealous streak is natural to occur. It doesn’t even matter who you follow these days whether it’s celebrities, clothing pages, makeup brands, even your friends, it seems like everyone is just way ahead of the game lately. And that’s nothing to complain about at all, it’s pretty cool that everyone is working on their image and looking to better themselves but the worrying thing is, is it realistic?
It really is the competitive generation, and nobody wants to be loosing the race.
I’m all about giving compliments and credit where it’s due of course but when people don’t feel comfortable in their own skin because of the idea of ‘beautiful’ is so narrow these days it really makes you think about what the future generations will be like. I have two younger sisters, 12 and 13, and the thoughts of them thinking they have to starve themselves, cake their faces with makeup and become something they’re not because they don’t feel beautiful enough, makes me honestly feel sick and upset. I see young girls from the age of 12 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter putting up photos up these rake skinny models saying things like “omg she’s perfect”, “GOALS”, “inspiration to start my diet tomorrow!” At that age that’s something that just shouldn’t even come to their mind, some of them probably haven’t even hit puberty and they’re already comparing themselves to a model twice their age.
As much as we hate to admit it, we say we don’t care how men see us but WE DO. We all want to feel and look sexy deep down and that’s another thing about body image. Even if a girl isn’t exactly attractive her friends will still compliment and make her feel good (as they should) but every girl likes some male attention and if you don’t get it you do tend to feel insecure.
Every single person has insecurities, I know I have a lot but the secret is don’t let them own you. For every insecurity you probably have 5 qualities about you!
Boys shouldn’t expect girls to have bodies like Kim Kardashian unless they have bodies like Channing Tatum!
I by no means am a size 0, I don’t have the perfect body and I have my insecurities but as long as I think I look good, I’ll feel good! Beauty is not a clothes size, it’s not how good you look in a bikini and it’s definitely just not trying to look like a Victoria Secret model. Beauty is confidence, having a great sense of humour, intelligence, ambition, being a nice person and it’s about accepting who you are and being happy with it. Yes everyone has their opinions on their ideal woman/man and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is comparing yourself to everyone, putting other people down and being a sheep in this society because you don’t feel like you fit in any other way.
As Lindsay Lohan once quoted in legendary film Mean Girls: “calling someone ugly won’t make you pretty and calling someone fat won’t make you skinny”.
Instead of promoting a perfect body image we should be promoting a healthy body image.
Here’s some tips on what you can do to feel a little bit better about yourself this summer:
- Walk as Much as You Can- walking is a fantastic way to clear the mind, you don’t have to buy an expensive gym membership and you don’t have to plan when to do it you can literally just get up and go. Even starting small by choosing to walk instead of driving or taking the bus can really help and also save money in the long run. A 20 minute walk a day can also help with weight loss. Create yourself a good playlist and a quick walk around the block will turn into 2 hours because each song was just that good ;-).
- Drink lots of Water!- it’s free, it’s absolutely everywhere, it’s a great thirst quencher and did I mention IT’S FREE?! Water is the one drink that you could drink all day everyday without any bad effects besides having to pee every 10 minutes ha-ha. Water is amazing as it helps flush out toxins from the body, it’s a natural headache remedy, helps with digestion, prevents cramps and sprains and it’s amazing for your skin!! I drink water all the time and rarely get any spots/pimples. It also helps your hair and nails grow. If you really can’t stand the taste try adding different fruits in a bottle (I love the classic lemon and lime) or even buy small packs of water flavourings so it taste more like a fruity juice but without the calories and sugar.
- Enjoy Nature- whether it’s going for a hike, going camping or going to the lake, outdoor activities are never a bad idea during the summer season. Not only is it a great way to spend time with friends and family but most of the time when you’re out and about you’re so busy that when it comes to eating you would naturally want something nourishing over eating a big greasy take-out that will make you feel groggy for the rest of the evening.
- Pamper Yourself- confident body image isn’t always about what dress size you are, sometimes it has to do with being insecure about other things such as cellulite, stretch marks, acne etc. If you set aside one evening a week to do things for just you, you’ll feel better about yourself. Have a hot bubble bath and have a spa day! Put on a facial, exfoliate your skin (my new favourite is Frank’s Coffee Scrub), do your eyebrows, shave your legs, paint your nails, put a hair treatment in and watch a good girly movie! Instantly cheered up and you’ll smell and feel so good that you’ll be like INSECURITY WHOOO?
- Try New Foods- a lot of people that say they have problems eating healthy is because they don’t know what to eat. I was exactly like this before, I say I’m going on a diet and after 3 days of eating plain chicken fillets, rice and broccoli I was ready to kill someone and order a pizza! BUT the key to healthy eating is all about balance. No normal person can go from eating junk to eating organic, low carb, no dairy diet in one week, it’s just not realistic. If you like salads then mix it up, add different things in like grilled vegetables, nuts, fruit, try different dressings and each day you’ll have something new. If you’re a carbie-barbie go from pasta to rice noodles and from rice to quinao! You will still have the same texture just less calories, and a lighter alternative! If you love your protein but you’re sick of the same Frank’s Red Hot chicken fillets, seasoning is your best friend! The beauty about herbs and spices is that you can put anything on everything! When making chicken wash with lemon juice, then let them marinate in a bowl full of seasons of else grill/fry it up with anything of your choice. I love tex mix, paprika, chives and some chilli flakes on my chicken. I even put it on sweet potatoes too! But if you want a chocolate bar have a chocolate bar, if you want a day to eat whatever you want do that too! But don’t do anything out of your comfort level as you won’t succeed. Lifestyle change is way better than a fad diet.
I’m by no means a nutritionist or personal trainer but I do believe healthy body image can help not only yourself, but everyone around you and most importantly the younger ones looking at you for example.
Finding a way to be confident can sometimes be difficult to achieve, but it is definitely worth it in the long run.
Even celebrities feel body insecure sometimes! Have a look at some amazing quotes that are real and inspiring! YAY to that!