For many the way we look contributes to our identity.
I am part of the many. The issue of using body image to be part of your identity comes up when you don’t like what you see in the mirror, therefore a gigantic chunk of my identity. I have heard the phrase “you are more than your body” being thrown about, but saying that to a near grief-stricken teenager doesn’t really work.
I am now 21. Not just an adult, but an adult-adult. As an adult-adult, I have slowly come to peace with myself. There’s been bumps in the road, and sometimes it seemed that I had taken two steps back. However, no one’s journey to peace with their body is linear. I haven’t quite reached the final destination and I don’t think I will ever be 100% at peace. However, what is important is the journey of not loathing my body. I shan’t get into the nitty gritty of what I experienced as a young teenager. Instead, I will explain to you all what I have been doing. I’m not a professional ,but these are the things that have been working for me.
Social media is a false friend. You start to become oddly comforted the more you scroll, even though you’re just triggering yourself. The more you scroll the worse it gets. So, avoid Tumblr (if you know, you know, and if you do, I am so sorry) and stick to content that is less body-focused. I have tried going down the body positivity route, but that hasn’t quite helped me. I know it does for so many, so there’s no harm in trying. My tactic is to just avoid content that focuses on bodies and to scroll endlessly on shite comedy or pet posts. For now, my main aim is to just slowly trudge along.
On the brighter side, other tactics I’ve found helpful are having a few default outfits that you know you feel comfortable with. Of course, don’t just always stick to the same three, but knowing you have at least an outfit you know you like does wonders for your self-esteem.
Goodbye to those nights where you scream “I’M NOT GOING OUT” because you think you look bad.
Creative freedom is another good way to help you along your journey. I like to express myself via my makeup, for example. Many dye their hair too to help with positive self-image. I haven’t dyed my hair since my balayage in Year 11, but I did recently get layers. Not the most life changing thing but small style revamps as such may help you.
I’ve been battling my issues since I was thirteen so if you are in a similar position to me, it may be a long journey. I’m still on it. However, the main thing is to carry on, as hard as that may be. Confide in people, focus on brighter things. We’ve got this!