Do you avoid looking in the mirror? Are you critical of the shape of your body? Do you feel that you can’t measure up to our society’s image of what is beautiful?
Your body image is how you see yourself in the mirror, picture yourself in your mind, or talk to yourself about your body. Having a negative body image is a widespread problem for girls. Research says that only 9 percent of high school girls are overweight according to medical standards, but four times that number think that they are.
This is quite alarming since it points to the fact that girls seem to base their unrealistic standards and negative body talk on what they see in the media or on criticism from family members. Sadly, you can learn a lot that is negative about your body from family members. So, its no surprise that you have unhealthy ideas about food, weight, and appearance.
However, you can decide to take care of yourself in healthier ways by not referring to your body in negative terms. Here are a few tips for you to do just that.
1. Don’t beat yourself up about your bodily flaws or obsess over them. Each of you will have different assets and flaws. Try and focus on your assets and beautiful parts and don’t focus on your flaws.
2. Watch negative self-talk. Try not to say anything negative about your body. Your body is the temple for your soul and because of this it is valuable in its own right, regardless of whether or not you measure up to another person’s idea of what is right for you.
3. Try to carry yourself with confidence. Walk tall, talk assertively and present yourself in a confident world to the world. Think about the amazing things that your body can do and compliment your unique assets.
4. Engage in positive self-talk. Two or three times a day, find something nice to say about your body. Learn to like yourself. Each of you have something that you absolutely love about yourself. Celebrate those things as often as possible.
You have a right to be different from what your friends and family and the media want you to look like. Choose your own body type and live in accordance to it without worrying what others think too much. You deserve peace of mind.
Irene S. Roth has an adolescent blog and is in the middle of writing 3 E-books about self-esteem and self-confidence for girls. Please look out for them the Winter/Spring of 2011 at http://adolescentgirlsblog.wordpress.com