Hey everyone, hope you’re well. My name’s Chloe from ChloeChats and today I’m writing about Body Image and Self-esteem. I feel like this is such an important topic and something that many people struggle with.
Most of my life I’ve struggled with body positivity and I’ve often felt negative about the way I look which then gave me very low self-esteem. At one point in my life for a good 5 or so years (maybe even more…) I would never ever wear anything that would show off my legs. So, if I wore a dress or a skirt, I would wear tights with them. Even if the weather was super warm, I would always put my black tights on – which of course absorbed the heat and most probably made me feel really uncomfortable, but I didn’t care about putting myself through that because there was no way I would have my legs out.
I also wouldn’t wear crop tops either, the thought of my tummy sticking out was the worst. Growing up I always felt like I was ‘fatter’ than most people (like my friends for example) and so, I just wore jeans and tops that would keep me covered – the only bits of skin I had out was my arms and a bit of my chest, I guess, if I was wearing vests or tops that were V-necks etc. However, I look back now and I know I was not ‘fat’ at all, probably far from it but that’s how negative I felt about myself.
The only time this wasn’t the case was when I went on holiday abroad, it was far too hot for me to not wear dresses/shorts/skirts without tights, but of course, I still felt super insecure whenever I was on holiday and had to walk around showing off my legs.
This only really changed for me last year, as it was the first Summer in England that I went outside wearing dresses without tights. If you’re not from the UK, last year we had a very hot Summer – something we’re definitely not used to! But with that, it meant that it was probably too dangerous for me to wear clothes that covered me up fully, I probably would have gotten too warm and could have ended up harming myself or potentially collapsed.
As I didn’t have many dresses that I liked – because I never saw the need to wear them – I did a little shopping spree and bought some nice dresses. When they all arrived, I started to wear them out and about, I’d go to the supermarket in them and yes, of course, I felt very insecure to begin with, but I started to realise something. When I was out and about, no one stared at me, no one said anything to me, no one cared? I started to enjoy wearing them, and I actually felt good in them too.
I wouldn’t say I’m a hundred percent confident with my body now, there are still times that I would struggle wearing clothing that may show off more skin. For example, I’ve yet to go to work wearing something that may show my legs and as I sit here and write this I just stopped and started biting my nails – obviously, the thought of it makes me feel nervous. I don’t know if this is just me, but because it’s been a good while since the weather’s been nice enough to wear dresses without tights when it does get to Summer and there’s chances to do it, I actually worry that I’m not going to be confident enough to.
But, I did it before so I’m sure I can do it again.
Tips to help improve body image and self-esteem:
Now I’ve spoken about my personal story and fight with body positivity, I wanted to share some tips with you – and maybe in writing this it can inspire me to feel less anxious about it again – so here are some small tips that you can follow to help with body image and self-esteem.
#1 Focus on the parts that you do love and feel good about.
I’m sure you all have something that you like about yourself. This could be your smile, your arms, your tummy, or even your toes! When we look into a mirror, we usually look at the parts we don’t like and end up criticising ourselves,; it might be that you’re getting ready for the day and you look in the mirror and think, “these jeans make my legs look so horrible,” but why not focus on the bits you do like?
Maybe that top your wearing is making your figure look the way you want it to, or the heels you have on make your legs look long, or whatever it is that you think looks good on you, talk about that instead! Compliment yourself, it’ll help you feel good about yourself.
#2 Learn about the shape of your body.
We all have different body sizes; therefore, all types of clothing will look different on everyone. You might be online shopping and you’ll see a model in a dress that you think suits her really well, but then you’ll try it on and it’ll look different. But, that’s normal! Certain clothes and the way we decide to dress can have such a big impact on how we feel about ourselves. I often find that if I’m dressing up to go out somewhere nice, I feel really good about myself; putting make-up on, dressing up in smart clothes and doing my hair really nice is such a great/fun thing to do when you’re feeling low about yourself.
There’re so many clothes out there that you can pick that will suit your body shape no matter what shape it is. I don’t know about you, but when I’m wearing matching underwear it makes me feel good. I don’t care if no one is going to see it, but for me personally, I feel cute.
#3 Take care of your body, keep it healthy.
I can’t not mention body image and self-esteem without talking about this one. Of course, eating healthy and trying to do some sort of exercise in a week is going to be beneficial for your body. I’m not saying for you to do this to ‘change’ the way you look, but it definitely helps make you feel good if you’re keeping yourself healthy.
Although, don’t be cutting out all the treats you love, because I know for sure that eating something that’s probably super unhealthy but tastes so delicious makes me feel good and happy! That said, you can definitely balance it out with food that’s healthy for you, and also balance out chilling and lounging at home with going out for some walks or if you like to go out and run etc.
When I do some exercise or eat a meal that is healthy, it often makes me feel good and positive, but I also feel super happy when I have a takeaway on its way to me also! It’s just about that balance.
#4 Beauty is so much more than what you look like.
Beauty is your mind, your personality, your skills and so much more. For an example, if you asked a friend or family member to list what they like about you, they would mention what you look like on the outside but I’m pretty sure they’ll list things about your personality and what you’re good at also. Maybe you should try this for yourself, too; go away now and ask loved ones to list what they like about you, and also make a list for yourself.
Write down what you like about yourself, I’m sure you’ll end up writing a lot more than you thought you would.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it has inspired you to do something that will make you feel positive about yourself. If you have any tips as well, then please do let me know, I would love to hear them!
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