We don’t know about you, but we’re over seeing articles on how to shed those lockdown pounds… eye roll. As the sun comes out, it definitely feels weird putting on fewer layers and going ‘out’ in the world again. The last thing we need is to struggle with our body confidence or be put under pressure to look a certain way after what has been a tough enough year. Nah-uh, not today, not ever.
A study showed that 70% of women between the ages of 18-30 dislike their bodies and 45% of men say they’re dissatisfied with their bodies too. That’s a huge amount of people. So, if you’ve ever wondered if anyone else feels self conscious, know you’re certainly not alone.
It can be incredibly hard at times when bombarded with photoshopped and filtered images that make you think you need to look a certain way. But we’re here to tell you that you don’t. You are beautiful just as you are. We’ve come up with a few ideas and tips to boost your body confidence. So read on to show your body the love and respect it truly deserves.
1. Unfollow Instagram accounts that make you feel rubbish
Hands up if you’ve ever felt rubbish because you’ve compared yourself to someone else on Instagram raises hand. Why oh why do we do that?! The power is in our hands, and it’s a beautiful little button that simply says ‘unfollow’. If that account triggers an insecurity, unfollow them to give yourself a much-needed break from their content. It can be exhausting. Fed up with social media on the whole? Delete the apps! Sometimes temptation to scroll can be too much, and it’s better if there’s no app to open whatsoever. It doesn’t have to be permanent though if it’s just a break you need, you can always download them again at a later date.
2. Accept that change is okay!
Sometimes it is tough to accept changes in our bodies over time. We can put too much pressure on ourselves to look the same as when we were younger. Instead, we should be saying thank you to them because, frankly, our bodies have been through a lot. Whether it’s a stressful year (hello lockdown!), fertility struggles or growing a tiny human, what our bodies go through as women is nothing less than incredible. Start celebrating the skin that you’re in because it’s a part of you and your journey. And that is beautiful.
3. If it makes YOU feel good, do it!
Life is too short for counting calories or worrying about what other think of you. If there’s one mantra we’d live our lives by is: ‘If it makes you feel good, do it.’ If that strappy dress you just LOVE makes you feel like a goddess, wear it. Whack that bikini on that you love and head down to the park to catch some sun. Start caring less about what others think and more about what makes you feel the happiest.
4. And if it doesn’t make YOU feel good, don’t do it!
If an old pair of jeans now fit a little too tight and don’t make you feel great, it’s time to say goodbye and take them to the charity shop. Donating clothes that no longer help with your body confidence is a great way to give your wardrobe a well-being cleanout! Keep only the things that make you feel confident and fabulous when you wear them.
5. Set little goals that aren’t related to your appearance
Settling little achievable goals not related to your body and appearance starts to remove the often unhealthy focus on it. It’s what’s inside that’s the most important, so create a little daily self-care checklist that you can tick off, and at the end of the day you can see everything you’ve done today that’s taken care of you! Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying exclude exercise from this list, going for a walk is at the top of our daily self-care checklist, but make sure the reason you’re exercising is because it makes you feel good and happy, not to alter your appearance.
6. Practice positive affirmations
We’re big believers that if you say anything enough, it helps you manifest it into reality. Find a few different positive affirmations that work for you that you can repeat to yourself each day to remind yourself you are enough, you’re doing great and you’re beautiful. You can even write these down somewhere, like on a sticky note on your mirror, so each day you can’t miss it, and it is a much-needed reminder on the days when you could really do with it. Here’s some to get you started!
- My body is not an object, it is an instrument @iweigh
- My body deserves to be nurtured with love and kindness @therealwomentalk
- My body was enough then, my body is enough now @empowered.palate
- What other women look like has nothing to do with me @em_clarkson
Have your own affirmations? Share them in the comments! We’d love to see them and give them a go!
7. Follow accounts that practise self-love
Sigh… filters upon filters upon editing apps. It can be hard to know what’s real and what’s not on Instagram some days. We think it’s so helpful to curate your social media to make it content that you can trust that you find empowering and helps you practice some self-love. Add in some accounts that share their favourite affirmations or offer regular advice on how they practise self-love. We thought we’d share just a few of our team’s favourites. If there are any accounts that you follow and love, share them in the comments!
- @i_weigh – founded by Jameela Jamil, this brilliant account focuses on inclusivity and positive mental health
- @em_clarkson – the refreshingly honest and relatable day-to-day of a girl in her 20s
- @alexlight_ldn – Alex Light curates an inspiring space for anti-diet culture and feeling good about yourself
- @bodyposipanda – the queen of body confidence Megan Jayne Crabbe
- @chloeplumstead – your down to earth internet friend, great for petite style and navigating early adulthood
- @ghenetactually – this American girl in London brings us so much joy with her body confidence and dreamy feed
- @ohverlee – mood-boosting and empowering quotes and homewares that say just what you need to hear
- @izzierodgers – for anyone who struggles with their skin, you will adore this girl
- @celestebarber – an actor and comedian who calls out celebrities in the most hilarious way. A must-follow!
8. If you wouldn’t say it a friend, don’t say it to yourself!
We openly admit we’ve shamed our bodies, thought negatively about how we look, only feeding those insecurities further. One technique we’ve found helpful is asking ourselves a fundamental question… would we say this to our best friends? The answer is absolutely not. We love them for who they are, and we’re proud of what they’ve achieved, so you should love you for who you are too and be proud of what you’ve achieved. Treat your body with the same respect and love; it deserves it!
9. Focus on the good
No matter where you’re at on your journey to self-love and body confidence or how long you’ve been practising this, it’s always easier to focus on the bad than the good. When these negative thoughts start to appear, try to counter these with something positive. Remember when you focus on the good, the good gets better. So, remind yourself of something you like about yourself and try to be as kind to yourself as you can.
There are so many different ways you can practise body confidence and show yourself some self-love; this really is just scratching the surface. Try different techniques to find what works for you. If you already have some hints or tips that you find particularly helpful, please do pop them below in the comments to share with others.
P.S. Discover our ‘all bodies are summer bodies’ graphic on Instagram and screenshot it to save as one of your affirmations!