The arrival of the official start to summer means no more covering up and hiding under baggy sweaters and old sweatpants, but time to welcome tank tops, trendy shorts and possibly even bathing suits. This switch can spark body image issues, especially in women.
In a world where “thin is in,” and even the “plus sized” models are airbrushed, body confidence is at an all time low. This low self-esteem can even cause some women become depressed and anxious, forcing them to stay remain isolated all summer and avoid social gatherings such as pool parties and beach trips.
We expect to look the same in our 30s, 40s and 50s as we did in our early 20s, but the reality is that as we age our bodies age. We have to learn to accept it, work with it, and love ourselves just the same.
Here are a few tips to increase your body confidence this summer and all year:
- Remember everyone is insecure. Have you ever noticed when a group of friends take a picture the very first thing each one does is zoom straight in on themselves? You probably have no idea if other people look good in the picture, only whether or not it is a good picture of you. We all have insecurities, and honestly, we are all too caught up in our own flaws we often do not recognize others’.
- Stop complaining about your insecurities. I can’t imagine a time before I noticed the arrow in the FedEx truck because now it is all I see when I look at it! Well, this is like that tiny little flaw you hate about yourself. Your ears are too big? I would have never noticed if you hadn’t pointed them out, but you did, and now I see it. One thing I have learned is that complaining about your problem area just draws more attention to it. So instead of dwelling on your insecurities, act confident. Others will believe you and you will start feeling more confident as well.
- Embrace your body’s every shape. Our bodies might not be where we ultimately want them, but dressing in clothes that are unflattering, and refusing to buy the correct size because “one day I will fit in it” is doing no favors to your body confidence. Having tangible motivation in the form of a fancy dress can help jump-start your work out efforts, but forcing yourself to wear ill-fitting clothes in the meantime is no way to love the body you have now.
- Compliment yourself. Standing in the mirror judging every inch of your body, zeroing on your least favorite parts will only destroy your mood, energy and confidence. Become mindful of what you are saying to yourself when you look in the mirror, would you say those things to your insecure friend? When you catch yourself saying you hate your thighs, counteract it with a compliment about what you do love about yourself.
Watching our bodies change can be tough, but there really is no way around it. As long as we exercise, eat nutritiously and feel great, we should be confident no matter what the size on our pants or number on the scale.