How to Feel Confident In Your Own Body

Body confidence plays a major role in achieving true elegance and style, but it is still something that remains elusive to women of all ages. From the minute we start to grow into our bodies during puberty, to the first signs of aging, we’re told we should look thinner, younger, taller and above all, exude confidence. The irony, to most of us, is not lost.

The way female bodies are perceived in the media has a lot to answer for, but modern feminism is finding new ways to fight back. Just take a look at the body positivity movement (BOPO) that’s so prevalent on social media, and the various campaigns for diversity in advertising and the modeling industry, and ask yourself why Hollywood movies remain out of step. These are changing times, but diet culture is still alive and well, which is why so many of us struggle to love the skin we’re in.

Your body is an amazing vessel, but to love yourself is to understand and resist the subliminal messages fired at you from all angles. Body confidence is possible, however, and you can achieve it using some of these tips.

Ditch Beauty Magazines

Have you ever read a beauty magazine that made you feel better about yourself? No? That’s because magazines are a form of advertising, in many respects, and the goal of most advertising is to make you feel like you’re lacking in some way. Put it this way, if you read an article that tells you how to achieve younger looking skin, the subconscious message is “you need to buy this product to look younger.” It’s how diet culture is so prevalent in the U.S., and why so many women spend thousands of pounds on weight-loss pills, supplements, and weight-loss groups.

Instead of buying demeaning women’s magazines that make you feel bad about yourself, look into alternative publications that focus on personal development, style, relationships, business, hobbies, and other topics that don’t revolve around image.

Acknowledge (and Stop) Negative Talk

By constantly talking down your body, you’re perpetuating the negative body image cycle that so many women are locked in. If you catch yourself shaming your own body or qualifying every compliment you get with an insult, it’s time to stop. The problem persists when women talk badly about their bodies to each other. Interestingly, studies have shown that even women who do not feel bad about their own bodies regularly engage in this “negative self-talk” when among friends, which ultimately leads to them feeling worse about themselves as a result.

Know the Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight for health reasons, or because you’ve been instructed to by your doctor, by all means try to eat healthier foods and incorporate an exercise routine into your lifestyle. Just don’t let anyone pressure you into losing weight, and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you’re thinner, all your problems will be solved. Your body is your business, so it’s no one’s place to tell you to lose weight.

Your Eating Disorder Is Valid

Western culture has a dangerous habit of glamorizing eating disorders, not helped by the modeling industry that is known for sending emaciated women onto the catwalk. In reality, you don’t have to be stick thin to have an eating disorder or body image issues. If you have an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating tendencies, or you suspect you have an unhealthy attitude to food, seek help right away. Don’t let anyone tell you that your eating disorder isn’t valid, or that you don’t deserve self-love or compassion because you’re overweight.

Don’t Look at Sizes, Look at Measurements

If you’ve ever been shopping for clothes on the high street, you’ll know that sizes tend to vary significantly across brands. To avoid getting hung up on the number on your labels, take your measurements instead. Knowing the exact size of your bust, waist, hips and inseam will take much of the risk out of shopping for clothes online and will help you find better’-fitting garments that flatter your shape.

There’s No Shame in Specialty Stores

If you’re plus sized (the definition of this term will vary according to different fashion labels and stores), petite (under 5”4) or tall (over 5”8), you will probably benefit from shopping in specialty stores that cater properly to your size. Contrary to what you might think, there is shame in shopping in these stores. Many of them are more upmarket and offer better tailoring than run-of-the-mill fashion stores, and there will be much more choice available to you. Similarly, if you need particularly small shoes in USA size 4 and up, head to the Pretty Small Shoes website and shop now! There are also dedicated shoe stores for those with larger feet, both online and on the high street.

Treat Yourself Like a Friend

You wouldn’t tell your friend that her arms are too scrawny or her thighs are fat, so don’t put yourself down either. Hold yourself to a higher standard and treat your mind and body with compassion. Before you start the negative self-talk, ask yourself “would I say this to a friend or family member?” Chances are, you would never speak to another human being in such a degrading way, so why would you treat yourself like this?

Ultimately, the messages you feed your brain will stick, so try to make them positive ones.

You Can Be Body Confident, No Matter Your Shape or Size

Finally, let’s cut through some of the BOPO stereotypes. Skinny women can be body-confident; you don’t have to be “curvy” to be allowed to love yourself. Similarly, overweight women can have eating disorders, and obese bodies can still be healthy. Exercising and eating healthily doesn’t mean you have a body image issue, just as hating exercise and loving potato chips doesn’t make you lazy.

Be who you want to be, accept that your body will fluctuate according to age, hormones, and other factors, and don’t let it define you. You are so much more than a number on the scale, a dress size or a set of health records. You are your mind, your passions, the people you love, the books you read, the hobbies you engage in, as well as your physical self.

Thank to Eleonora

Speak Your Mind


Copyright 2014 @ A Celebration of Women™ The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care