Hello everyone! I noticed that I hadn’t published a ‘proper’ beauty or fashion post for ages. My favourites posts might feature a beauty product, but beauty is the main focus today. I decided it’s time to talk about something very much an issue in modern-day society. That is, body confidence.
I mentioned body confidence in my Matt Haig book review, but after writing, I still had a lot to say. In a world of modelling, magazines, mannequins, and media, it’s no surprise that body confidence and self-love is hard.
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed the pressures. Just before my holiday, I uttered things like “I can’t wear my bikini because I don’t have a beach-ready body”. Notes on a Nervous Planet definitely had an impact as I have now worn said bikini to go swimming. Was there a problem? No.
I asked myself, why did I feel like this? The answer is simple really. All around us, there are images, adverts, whatever it may be, which suggest an ideal ‘body image’. For women, that’s usually a flat stomach, toned limbs and zero cellulite. For men, it’s six packs and biceps.
The thing is to get that ideal is a never-ending battle. Hours at the gym, careful meal planning and goodness knows what else. We are not all blessed with good metabolism either. I mean, I would consider getting my 5-a-day and doing the government recommended daily 30 minutes of exercise a success and that’s based on being healthy, not seeking a particular body shape.
What causes a lack of body confidence?
That’s enough of me rambling. Time to get onto the main points. Before we can start to improve body confidence, we need to realise what the sources are for making us feel this way. Here’s what I think plays a big part and how not to let them affect you.
I’m sure everyone has their celebrity ‘idols’. It’s important to remember that they probably have personal trainers, nutritionists, and a custom-made wardrobe. Whilst that may be the norm for Hollywood A-Listers, it’s unrealistic for the many. Remind yourself of that if you ever start to feel an inkling of jealousy when seeing red carpet pics or catwalk photos.
I barely read magazines now. If you haven’t seen how some magazines photoshop people, then there are plenty of examples on Google. Magazines such as Boots Health and Beauty are actually having to state that their models are unretouched. This is proof of how much editing goes on in the industry.
I find high street shops to be a problem zone. The sizing varies so much. I can be anything from an 8 to a 12 depending on the shop. Don’t let your dress size affect your body confidence. It’s not as if they are accurate anyway. It’s not indicative of who you are. Plus, changing room lighting will forever be the worst.
Whilst I think there are many positives to social media, I see the dark side too. Instagram is particularly bad. I feel like half the images are of girls in bikinis. I don’t follow accounts like these. If I do, it’s only because it’s a blogger I know and I like their writing.
How to improve body confidence
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt
- Acceptance – Like any other mental health issue, improving body confidence requires acceptance. Once you accept, developing self-love is easier.
- Don’t compare – I think this is one of the biggest causes of low self-esteem when it comes to body image. The media and retail industry prey on our insecurities. There’s always some new beauty product, trend or fitness craze. The problem is with using all these things is that we are becoming people we are not, becoming replicas. We are all different and unique for a reason. It’s time to celebrate that.
- Instead of looking in the mirror and finding something you don’t like about your body, say one positive thing everyday and write it down. You’ll soon have a huge list and realise you love more things about your body than hate.
- Declutter – Unfollow those accounts on Instagram. Unsubscribe from those magazines. Decluttering is good for the mind, body and soul. Get rid of anything that puts your down. They don’t deserve your attention. Surround yourself only with positivity.
Just remember, no matter who you are, being happy and healthy is what counts. Enjoy being you.