The term ‘body image’ means how you feel about your body.
Many factors influence the way we feel about our bodies, such as social media, our family and peers, media (TV and magazines) and culture.
With many young people spending hours per days scrolling through filtered and photo shopped images on social media, it can be easy to think that bodies only come in one shape and size. We know that’s not true, but if all we see are those images it can be hard to remember that there are all kinds of bodies out there and they are all great!
If we don’t feel so great about our body and the way we look it can really affect our self-esteem, which is not great for our mental health.
Here are a few tips for looking after your body image
- Learn to respect and appreciate your body for all that it can do.
- Focus on what your body can do, rather than what it looks like.
- Own your social media feed.
- You have the power when it comes to what you do and don’t see on social media. Follow people and pages that make you feel good and unfollow those who make you feel bad about your body or looks. Following people of different shapes, sizes, colours and abilities can help to broaden your mind.
- Treat your body well.
- Eating nutritious foods and being active is good for all of us, but dieting and extreme exercise is dangerous.
- Be mindful of the media.
- Comparing yourself to images you see in magazines, on billboards and in ads can make you feel down. Remember that many of them have been airbrushed and photo shopped.
- Most importantly, remember that you are so much more than your looks.
The way we look is a small part of who we are as a person. Putting your energy into things you enjoy and spending time with the people you love being around will help you to stay positive.
Some useful links
If you feel like you need some support with the way you feel about your body you can speak to the team at the Butterfly Foundation
*There are heaps more links, as well as some book and podcast recommendations, in the resource sheet below.