Social media is our best friend and our arch nemesis all wrapped into one: our best friend because it helps us to stay motivated, educated, keep in touch with friends and access that much-needed fitness, fashion and lifestyle inspiration. Yet simultaneously it is our arch nemesis because social media is arguably at the root of the majority of body confidence issues in society. In a world where we are led to believe that everyone has a picture-perfect life (with a picture-perfect bikini body), feeling comfortable in your own skin has never been such a challenge. Your favourite bloggers seem to spend their lives on holiday without putting on an ounce of weight, whilst heavily-edited images of celebrities make perfection seem like the new normal. A recent survey conducted by the RSPH (Royal Society for Public Health) confirmed that Instagram contributes to the pervading feeling amongst girls and women that their bodies just aren’t good enough, whilst a survey by REAL magazine found that a mere 3% of women in the UK are totally happy with their body. That means a staggering 97% of women aren’t happy with the way they look, and that just is not good enough. That’s why we’re sharing our hacks to help you improve your body confidence because it’s the only one you’ll ever get, so it’s about time you loved it!
Ditch the scales: People are made of laughter, kindness, friendships, love and unforgettable memories, NOT numbers staring back from the scales. However insignificant, these little numbers have the power to instantly transform your body confidence and mood for the worse. The fact of the matter is, the scales are not really a true indication of your health, and there is no way that weighing yourself is going to offer you an accurate account of what’s really going on with your body. For example, during a woman’s monthly cycle, the scales can read up to five pounds higher than the rest of the month, yet of course, the scales have no way of explaining or accounting for this. Ditch the scales and set health and fitness goals that aren’t related to weight, with a focus on becoming stronger and feeling good, rather than obsessing over numbers.
Cull the negative accounts: Whilst it may be interesting watching the daily life of a Victoria’s Secret model, you have to question whether this really makes you feel good about yourself. If you find yourself feeling negative or down after seeing photographs from particular accounts, it is time to get rid. Delete accounts that make you feel inadequate and remind yourself that the little squares you see on Instagram are the best (and edited/ heavily filtered) parts of someone else’s life. Stick to accounts that make you feel good about yourself and that remind you of the trials and tribulations of everyday life. We love accounts such as @jadasezer, who spreads an incredible message of body positivity, @mother_pukka who presents the real struggles of motherhood, as well as brands such as Missguided for using totally unretouched campaigns.
Focus on the good: If you were trying to sell a house, you wouldn’t brag that the living room was outdated, or the bedrooms were in major need of a refurbish, rather you’d focus on the house’s uniqueness and character. So why not start doing that about yourself? At the end of each day, write down the things that you love about your body and give thanks to all that it does for you: for carrying you around for 24 hours every day, for becoming stronger with every workout, for keeping you going when times are tough. Remind yourself that you are an individual who will never ever look like someone else. Rather than perceiving this negatively, embrace it! Individuality is beautiful and what makes you, you. There is no one else in the world quite like you, and that really is something to be proud of.
Sweat it out: It’s completely natural at times to lack confidence and feel dissatisfied with the way you look, and one of the best ways to boost your mood and make you feel positive about yourself again is to get the body moving and get your sweat on. Doing a workout will help you to take your mind away from a negative space and will release endorphins to get you feeling like you are ready to take on the world. As little as 30 minutes exercise has been shown to boost feelings of strength and empowerment, helping you feel good whilst doing good at the same time. Remember, you’re working out because you love your body and not because you hate it.
Your vibe attracts your tribe: One of the most effective ways to ensure you’re brimming with confidence is to surround yourself with people who think you are amazing! When you look at your friends and family, all you notice is the things you think are wonderful about them, and that is exactly what they think of you. By being around people who remind you of your worth on a daily basis, and who will bring you back to reality when you begin to put yourself down, you will begin to see in yourself what they see in you.
Life really is too short to spend another day hating any inch of yourself, so we hope we’ve helped you start your journey to better body confidence and self-love!
words by Harriet Prior