What is body image?
Body image is how we think and feel about ourselves physically, and how we believe others see us. There are lots of different ways we can think about our bodies and the way we look. For example, sometimes you might like parts of your body and be happy with how you look. Other times, you might not. Body image is not just about our weight, it can also include:
- Comparing how you look to other people
- Not feeling able to love or accept your body
- Not seeing people who look like you accepted in the media
- Hiding your body because you feel ashamed of it
- Struggling to find clothes for your body, that you feel comfortable in
- Feeling misunderstood about your body
- Feeling like you are not attractive enough
- Worrying about things like birthmarks, scars or acne
- Feeling like your body does not match your true self
Top tips if you’re struggling with body image
- Be kind to yourself and focus on the things about yourself that you love.
- Don’t compare yourself to images of other people online, these are often digitally altered to appear perfect.
- Try not to let your social media affect how you feel about your body. Follow people who make you feel good and talk about body confidence.
- Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
- Think about what advice you would give a friend if they told you they were struggling with the way they look and remember that advice whenever you start having negative thoughts.
- Talk to someone you trust. It could be your parents or wider family members, like older cousins, aunts or uncles. Outside home, it could be a teacher, a neighbour, a close family friend or someone from a club you attend.
If you feel unable to cope, or particularly worried about one part of your body, talk to your GP about how you’re feeling. They can listen, tell you about local services and support groups, or they may suggest specific treatment for the way you’re feeling.