Body image

Growing up and going through puberty is a difficult time for your body image because you are going through so many sudden and dramatic changes. And all this happens at an age when you care a lot about what others think of you.

To help yourself, it’s important that you build and keep a positive body image – that means feeling good about your body and your physical appearance. Life is always easier when you feel good about yourself and having a positive body image will help.

The trick is to be confident about yourself and to value your body, despite what your friends, brothers and sisters and people at school might say when they tease you. This is called self-esteem, and people with high self esteem enjoy life more.

To develop a positive body image and self-esteem you could try making positive ‘I’ statements (also called affirmations) first thing every morning. Find some time to be alone, look into a mirror and tell yourself something positive about your body like ‘I love my new body and I’m excited that I’m becoming a woman’, or ‘I’m proud of my new body – it’s unique and it’s mine’.

Repeat your ‘I’ statements a few times until you feel good about yourself. If you can’t find time to get the mirror to yourself you could always try writing the statements down instead.

Throughout the day keep these statements in your mind, and if your friends tease you, rather then pay attention to what they say, silently remind yourself of what you really think!

Remember that it’s natural for people to compare themselves to the people around them and to want to fit in and be accepted. But it’s also important to remember that everyone is different – that’s what makes us human!

So try to be proud of your differences because they are what make you unique. It’s also good to keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to look.

Compiled from www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk.