Whether you’re 15 or 52, the struggle with body image is real. Since the beginning of time, teens and women have battled to be happy with the person they see in the mirror. Many people would argue that society has created this beauty driven culture (they aren’t too far off), but perhaps our media has actually taught us more about how the world’s idea of beauty and true happiness don’t go hand in hand. We don’t have to look far to see a super model or actress, socially accepted and praised for his/her looks, but still searching for happiness and spiraling out of control. Are you exhausted from always trying to conform to the latest norm of beauty? You are not alone!
“Seven in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way.” (1)
“More than 90 percent of girls – 15 to 17 years – want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest.” (1)
“One in 10 teen girls were unable to say no when a boy asked them to do something that made them uncomfortable. In fact, girls with low self-esteem are four times more likely to engage in activities with boys that they have ended up regretting later.” (1)
Something as simple as a negative body image can trigger depression, eating disorders, and other risky behaviors. Here are three tips to learning how to love you for you!
1. GET RID OF NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
We are often in a state of constant mental chatter. Our actions are inspired by our thoughts, and if we can change the way we think, we can change the actions we take. Just being more aware of this internal talk can be a great first step to tackling it!
2. REPLACE LIES WITH THE TRUTH
What goes in must come out! Wondering why it’s so tough to stop the negative self-talk? We often let lies about our worth and beauty speak louder than the truth about our worth and beauty. God tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made!” We are talking about the One who created places like the Crystal Caverns and the Great Blue Hole – and He says WE are fearfully and wonderfully made! Write this truth on your heart and speak it when you need a reminder.
3. MODEL THE TRUTH
If you are a parent, it’s important to remember that your child is modeling many of their body image behaviors after you. Do you frown and complain about the wrinkles next to your eyes? Is the first thing out of your mouth about someone new you meet a comment about their looks instead of their personality? Social media may be the newest form of influence in a teen’s life, but parental awareness, involvement and example are still the most important influence. Don’t undermine your ability to still shape and mold your teen’s understanding of healthy body image.
Share with us your tips for loving the person in the mirror!
1. Examiner, Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty boosts girls' self-esteem for Back to School (2009) http://www.examiner.com/article/dove-s-campaign-for-real-beauty-boosts-girls-self-esteem-for-back-to-school