“My boobs are too small, my legs are soooo short, I’m too skinny, my bum’s massive, my tummy looks weird, I hate my gangly arms...”
We girls are pretty hard on ourselves when it comes to the way we look. Throw an itsy, bitsy bikini into the mix and even the most body confident among us can feel their self-esteem disappear as quickly as a Paddlepop melting in the sun. But being nervous about this year’s bikini debut doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire summer cooped up inside. And it also doesn’t mean you should sport a full-length wetsuit to the beach to avoid those cringe-worthy moments. Boost your body love instead!STEP 1: Get your thoughts on the right track
Loving yourself (including the way you look) is the first step in becoming a strong and confident young woman who can do anything! And who doesn’t want to feel like that, eh? Body image is based on your thoughts and feelings about the way your body looks and the way you think others are judging your appearance. Negative/unrealistic thoughts = poor body image. Positive/happy thoughts = healthy body image. It’s not rocket science but it can be tough for any girl to feel 100 per cent good about her looks 100 per cent of the time when she’s comparing herself to friends, models in magazines and celebrities on TV. It’s time to quit comparing and just accept and really learn to like yourself, just as you are. We’re all different and that’s OK! The next time you hear yourself thinking negatively about your hair or legs or thighs, tell yourself to STOP. Instead, try giving yourself three compliments each day and really believe them! A positive attitude will get you everywhere!
It may come as a rude shock, but most people couldn’t give two hoots how you look in a swimsuit. Harsh but true! So whilst you’re shuffling down to the sand with crazy arms trying to hide every inch of skin you have on show, the rest of the beach goers are, well, reading a book, catching some rays or (Shock! Horror! Gasp!) swimming! They’re not gawking at you! It’s all about perspective. To you, the parts of your body that you mightn’t feel that confident about are as obvious as Robert Pattinson shopping at your local Westfield. But other people wouldn’t even notice these so called “flaws”. Try not to build things up to be bigger than they really are – does it really matter if your tummy is a little softer than you’d like, when you’re young, healthy and have so much to be grateful for?
A good way to test whether you’re being too hard on yourself with your negative thoughts is to conduct a quick ‘Bestie Test’. This is when you sit quietly and listen to your negative self talk – that’s all the rubbishy thoughts that fill you with dread as you’re about to strip off into your swimmers and do the walk of shame into the pool. Things like “I look horrible”, “I’m as fat as a whale”, and “I can’t believe how white and gross I am”. You’d never, EVER say these things to your bestie if she was in her swimmers, so why is it OK to say them to yourself? Your self-esteem will get stronger and stronger, as long as you’re kind to yourself!
One of the best ways to feel good about your bod is to work on having a healthy one. You can’t change your genes but you can choose what kind of food you fill your body with and how you look after it. Exercising and eating healthy, nutritious foods will not only keep your body in tip top shape, but you’ll feel tonnes better for it too. Your height and shoe size are here to stay, but spend some time being pampered (you know, fake tan, bikini wax, haircut... the works!) and we guarantee your body confidence will soar! You only have one body so you need to respect and really look after it. After all, it does a whole heap more than just look good in swimmers!
- Take your bestie along for honest advice on what suits your body shape.
- Be honest with yourself. Sure, tiny bikini bottoms might be all the rage or frills may be the in-thing this summer, but by sticking to styles that suit your body, you’ll feel more confident and look your best!
I am unique and special and no one looks the way I do, and that’s great. My body is my own, no matter what shape, size or colour, and I’m going to be as positive as I can about it. I don’t need to change my body, just the way I see and think about myself.
Words: Odette Tonkin
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