Maintaining a stable, positive body image is a major challenge. Very few people are able to go through life without struggling with their body image. It’s natural to feel insecure about your appearance, especially when society preys on the insecure body image of people—especially women—and uses their natural body confidence issues to sell everything from makeup to gimmicky weight-loss products.
It’s not always easy, but improving your body image is possible with a little time, effort, and a commitment to self-love. These five simple tips and tricks can help you improve your body image, regardless of your shape, size, or body type, and feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin without making any changes to your physical appearance.
Find Role Models
Representation matters. Seeing beautiful, confident people that look like you helps you feel more beautiful, confident, and comfortable in your own skin. If the supermodels you see strutting the runway at Victoria’s Secret fashion shows or showing off their figures in glossy magazine spreads have figures or skin colors that look nothing like yours, expand your horizons.
The body positivity movement has helped pave the way for women of all shapes, sizes, and skin colors to take center stage via social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and even Twitter. Spend some time searching for role models you relate to that proudly share photos of themselves with the world.
According to Hauteflair Lingerie, seeing a feed of gorgeous curvy women flaunting their unique figures in sexy lingerie when you log into social media can do wonders for your body image no matter what size you are. It’s certainly much better for your self-confidence than following accounts of women with bodies that look nothing like yours and feeling jealous and ashamed every time you scroll through your Instagram feed.
Make Food Your Friend
Food should not be the enemy. Unfortunately, for many women who struggle with their weight and body image, food is a source of negativity, frustration, and shame. Obviously, food is unavoidable. Eating is a necessary part of daily life. If you have a negative relationship with food that makes you feel badly about yourself and your body every time you eat a meal, it will be difficult for you to maintain a positive body image.
Instead of thinking of the food you eat as another obstacle between you and the bikini body of your dreams, focus on making food your friend. Food fuels your body. It keeps you alive and healthy. Think of food as helping you, not sabotaging you. Forget counting calories and fill your diet with plenty of lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. Make eating healthy more fun by browsing Pinterest and recipe blogs for simple, tasty and healthy meals that fill you with energy and taste delicious, too.
Repeat Body-Positive Affirmations
It might sound silly, but choosing or creating you own body-positive affirmations and repeating them to yourself when you feel secure about your physical appearance can help you maintain a stable, positive body image and remind yourself that you look beautiful just the way you are.
Unless you hide under a rock for the rest of your life, there’s really no way to avoid all of the appearance-based media that society normalizes. You can try to steer clear of as much offending media as possible and fill your personal Insta feeds with body-positive role models, but total avoidance of billboard advertisements, magazine spreads, and even conversations about appearances with friends and family members that trigger your body insecurities is near impossible.
A few examples of body-positive affirmations you can adopt or tweak for yourself include “I love my body and I love myself,” or “My body is but a vessel for my inner beauty, intelligence, and strength”. These simple affirmations are easy to remember and repeat, and cycling through them in your mind when you feel insecure can help instantly ground you and prevent you from getting swept up in a cloud of insecurity and misery.