You’ve probably heard the term “body confidence” before. You may struggle to accept yourself with all your wonderful flaws (we’ve all got them!). And that’s okay. Body confidence isn’t something you’re born with, it’s a skill that needs to be cultivated.
Building up real body confidence can take time, but it’s something that can have real, tangible benefits on every aspect of your life. In this article, we’re going to dive into everything body confidence and how you can boost yours!
What Does Body Confidence Mean?
Simply put, body confidence is a mindset. A person with healthy body confidence has respect for themselves, and confidence in how they look and present themselves.
It means that a person has high self esteem, and is happy and content with who they are.
This sounds good, right? Unfortunately, gaining more body confidence isn’t necessarily easy. What’s worse, low levels of body confidence, or self esteem, can have nasty effects.
Signs of Low Body Confidence
One of the first signs of low body confidence is a dissatisfaction with one’s looks. We might obsess over “flaws” in our appearance, maybe even considering surgery to fix these perceived issues.
Eating disorders, anxiety, or even refusing to do things that we enjoy are all signs of low body confidence. Some people might isolate themselves from friends or family because they simply don’t feel good enough. You may even avoid going to events or doing the activities you love, all because you don’t feel good in your own skin.
These kinds of issues are often seen in young people of school age. It can be ignored or even brushed under the carpet as being “normal.” The fact is, feelings of low self esteem and worthlessness should never be normalized. It’s important to nurture one’s self-esteem and confidence so that issues, such as depression and anxiety, don’t arise later on.
What Affects Body Confidence?
In a world obsessed with superficial looks, we are bombarded with ideals of how we should look, how we should dress, and what shape we should be.
Tweaked and photoshopped models in magazines, all impossibly thin and beautiful, can make us feel depressed about our own looks. Even though we know, deep down, that no one looks like this, we might still feel insecure and just not good enough. In fact, not feeling good enough is one of the most common negative thoughts.
Another serious problem is bullying. This is something that mostly affects school age children, but adults can suffer too. A young person who already feels awkward about their looks might become the target of bullies at school.
Children can be exceptionally cruel, and words can hurt. A young person might come home every day feeling a little bit worse about themselves. Some of those insults can stay with a person forever.
All of this can accumulate, making us feel depressed and unhappy with ourselves. Many of these problems come from external factors, and can’t be controlled. But you can control your reaction and how you talk to yourself. So, how do we deal with low body confidence, even in the face of these obstacles?
How Can You Improve Your Body Confidence?
The first step to regaining your confidence is to accept that you are not perfect. You won’t have the perfect body, the perfect personality, and that is absolutely fine.
Pursuing “perfect” looks, even subconsciously, is exhausting. Realizing that it’s OK not to be perfect can be a tremendous relief. Besides, there really is no such thing as perfect, as much as photoshop may have us believe.
The people you surround yourself with will have a huge impact on how you think and act. If you surround yourself with negativity, that will affect you, too.
People who speak negatively to you will not help you achieve body confidence. You could tell your friends and family about your feelings and how much their comments hurt. However, if their negativity continues, you might need to take action.
Look for positive influences in your life. Socializing can seem daunting at first, but making new friends and enjoying new experiences can be a huge confidence boost.
Keep Social Media to a Minimum
We all enjoy scrolling through social media from time to time, and it can be a great way of connecting with friends.
However, it can also make us feel worse about ourselves. Social media isn’t a genuine representation of reality - it’s only one great moment of a person’s life, polished up, packaged together, and displayed to the world. In reality, things may look much different. But social media tricks us. We compare ourselves. Thus, spending time off of social media and within the real world can be highly beneficial when it comes to boosting your confidence.
Treat Yourself Well
This might seem like a strange thing to say. But think - how often do you say something hurtful to yourself, whether it’s about the way you look or something you’ve done?
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: Would I speak to a friend like this? More often than not, the answer is no. Speak to yourself as you would talk to your best friend.
One great way of expressing yourself is by the way you dress. If you have low body confidence, the idea of wearing something unusual or flashy might not appeal to you.
Dressing up and dressing well is a great way of making yourself feel good. Experiment with what looks good on you, and develop your own personal style.
Count Your Blessings
Focusing on negativity and the things you lack won’t help you be a happier person. It’s easy to get caught up in what you feel you’re missing, to the extent that you don’t see what you do have.
Do you have a loving family, and a good group of friends? Perhaps you have a unique style, or even simply good health. Taking some time to think about the good things in your life can help you climb out of a low point.
Don’t neglect the basics, such as good hygiene, self-care, and exercise. If you’re at a low point, taking good care of yourself can give you a boost.
Regular exercise might not seem very appealing, but working out helps release good endorphins, and works well to boost your mood. Taking time for yourself is also important. Ensure you find that balance that works for you.
Why Body Confidence Matters
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good or wanting to be healthier and fitter, the world has become almost obsessed with looks. Remember, how you look is only a small part of who you are. Underneath, there’s so much more!