We are in an age when the pressure to look a certain way and ‘fit in’ to the highly publicised conception of what is beautiful. It’s important to highlight that we are all beautiful. So many women and probably men too, are worried about how others will perceive them and feel tremendous peer pressure. I want to let you know that it really isn’t worth feeling this way. Here are my thoughts on why feeling body confident is important for everyone.
I recently became an ambassador for a charity called Girls Out Loud, which focuses on helping teenage girls with confidence issues. They run various programs in schools, as well as offering the girls positive role models. They provide girls with mentors who they can turn to when it seems like there is no one else who can relate. Sometimes we all just need a ear to talk to, this is true at any age.
Growing up in general is difficult at the best of times. Being a teenage girl is something I personally struggled with. The sad thing is that a lot of girls do. Unfortunately, this feeling of not quite fitting in, doesn’t magically stop when you hit womanhood. There are so many things that effect our happiness and although we aren’t all as sensitive, there is always that one thing about ourselves we aren’t quite happy with.
When I say “one thing” it can literally be anything. Even things as trivial as feeling left out of friend groups, which seems ridiculous at my age. I have learnt that some people can only see as far as themselves or those who are immediately close to them. Having moved around a lot I have tried my best to keep in touch with friends that are important to me. A lot of the time they are just getting on with their own lives. The phrase ‘out of sight out of mind’ is so relevant here. With social media we do tend to see things that we ordinarily wouldn’t know we were missing and that can hurt.
I try my best to keep up my end of the friendship. But, when you don’t even get an invite to certain things or your friends don’t bother to accept your invitations, you do feel like your friendship is just not as important to them. This is not always the case. Even small things like this can knock your confidence as a person. I have now learnt that friends will come and go and to just focus on those who really make the effort with you. It’s not always personal so try not to take it to heart. Sometimes people don’t even realise the effect they are having on you mentally.
Why Feeling Body Confident Is Important For Everyone
Another thing I have personally had to deal with, is that feeling of being different. Being mixed race in a practically all white school and never being classed as the ‘pretty girl’ was not a nice thing to deal with. My skin colour was different, my hair was thick and wild and I have never had a slim build. I was never the girl that the boys liked. I was always just a friend. It did change a lot when I got in to my twenties but I still know what this pressure feels like. Believe it or not I still get ‘rejected’ from working with brands and magazines because I am different, even in today’s world. I just try not to let it effect me, there are still plenty of opportunities out there.
Media pressure has been talked about for decades. Now that we are such a multicultural society things are starting to change slightly. We are slowly seeing some of our favourite role models and icons shown in the media. It’s because they are far more popular than the stick like models that have commonly been portrayed for so long.
Unfortunately, some brands still stick to a stuffy perfect image that is just not realistic nor attainable. We do need to see true representations of ourselves in order to relate. Not only do we NOT relate to these images, but they also make us feel pressure to aspire to these skinny, mostly caucasian models.
Feeling like you don’t fit in with the wider perception of beauty within your own country can be really hard to deal with. It can be hard to understand and even harder to achieve what you are living up to. Feeling on the outside, can effect every part of your life. It can make you feel like you don’t look attractive enough. Like you’re not the right fit in your workplace, like you are the odd one out at school and that you are not treated fairly and compared to the girls like the models in the magazines.
What we need to understand is that everybody is different. First of all, we have such a variety of genes and heritage in the UK and not all cultures are genetically built to be petite or lighter skinned. We shouldn’t be made to feel any less because of this. So let’s be proud of our individuality so we can understand that it’s our differences that make us who we are. Growing up in all the different ways that we have and going through a different experience to the average girl is what makes a strong woman.
I have met so many bloggers and people within the media. Those that stand out to me and are the most successful, are the ones whose confidence and personality shine through. So, it’s really not all about the way you look.
We really need to try to empower each other, instead of putting others down because they are different. It’s the feeling of being inadequate is something that can really drag us down and it has a stifling effect. It can stop us from doing things as small as going out with the girls, to something as life changing as pursuing our dreams.
I remember reading an article recently that asked a group of older people who were on their death beds, what their biggest regret was? The answers were overwhelmingly the same. Their biggest regret was not going after their dreams and worrying what other people thought of them.
Body confidence and confidence in yourself in general is so important. It allows us to live our relatively short lives to the fullest. You are beautiful, and you are valued for who you are right now.
What are my top tips for feeling body confident?
Try to work out, not to loose weight but more because the ‘feel good’ factor will help you to feel positive about yourself.
Be individual! Wear what looks good on you, don’t try to copy what is popular.
Just go for it! Try not to listen to that voice in your head that’s holding you back.
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