If you are struggling with body image issues, just know that a bunch of other teens your age are, too. No matter what you look like, being happy and healthy are both far more important than what you look like on the outside. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to access a link to a corresponding resource page for parents and caregivers.
“WHAT IS BODY IMAGE?
Body image is based on your thoughts and feelings about the way your body looks. Sometimes the way you think other people are judging your appearance can affect your body image. Poor body image comes from negative thoughts and feelings about your appearance, and a healthy body image is made up of thoughts and feelings that are positive. Body image is a major factor in self-esteem; which is the way you think and feel about yourself as a person.
WHAT IS SELF-ESTEEM?
Self-esteem relates to how much you like yourself, and how you recognize or appreciate your individual character, qualities, skills, and accomplishments. Like body image, self-esteem can also be based on how you think other people look at you as a person. People who have low self-esteem may not always feel confident about themselves or how they look. It is often hard for them to see that they are important and capable people. People with good self-esteem often have a positive and confident attitude about their body and mind, and can recognize their strengths as well as personal value and worth.
WHY IS GOOD SELF-ESTEEM IMPORTANT?
Good self-esteem is important for everyone because it helps you keep a positive outlook on life and makes you feel proud of the person you are, both inside and out. Most teens with good self-esteem find life much more enjoyable.
National Resources and Articles
Everyone has a body-image. Beginning at birth, body image develops as we experience life, incorporating the messages of our personal and more global culture into the picture that forms in our mind’s eye. Although we may hope to form an inner image that is more positive than negative, we are all susceptible to finding fault with who we are. By feeding ourselves a steady diet of self-criticism we pave the way for a deprecating self to take control. (Eating Disorder Hope)
About-Face means a reversal of direction, attitude, or point of view. They equip women & girls with tools to understand & resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem & body image.
Negative body image can be one of the first triggers of an eating disorder, and recovery from an eating disorder may include overcoming body dissatisfaction. Use these tools to practice improving your body image every day. (NEDA)
This film series celebrates the #ActuallySheCan spirit through inspiring portrayals of young women who are achieving their ambitions with confidence and positivity.
Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary
Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large by Kim Brittingham
30 Specific Strategies for Overcoming Emotional Eating by Katie McLaughlin