Lucy's story: confident and comfortable
I don’t find it easy to put down on paper what I feel in my head about the image I have of my body, it does not seem to make sense and it doesn’t feel good enough.
Body image plays a big part in a teenagers' life
I don’t always feel comfortable in my body but that does not mean I cant show off what I like about me. I like my eyebrows, eyelashes and my naturally ‘tanned’ skin. My name is Lucy and body image plays a very big part in a teenagers’ life, like mine. Thinking about it my friends and I don’t tend to talk about our own bodies but we do comment on what celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Little Mix are wearing.
What I do to help myself feel better about my body
Most of us have likes and dislikes about different parts of our body, we don’t all think and feel alike - personally if I do not like something I want to change it but I know that in reality what I really need to do is learn to love all of me. To help myself feel better I wear clothes that make me feel comfortable about myself. If I could I would wear pyjamas all day, I would, because they are comfortable and don’t feel tight, infact PJ’s suit everyone whatever your shape or size!
There is a dress that made me feel confident, not a special dress but an everyday one, it wasn’t fancy but it made me feel special; but it is not easy to put into words why this dress made me feel this way. It went in and out in all the right places, if flowed down to my knees, not too short and not too long, not too loose and not too tight. When you find that perfect outfit you wish you had bought two of them. Infact when I think about the clothes I wear, it is often the same outfit day after day, a different t-shirt but always black leggings and my mickey mouse jumper. Which has got me thinking ...
The impact of social media and female stereotpyes
On social media in particular, there are lots of female stereotypes telling us what we ‘should’ be looking like – slender, tanned, big breasts, curvy bum, painted nails – the impact of this is that most teenage girls that I see posting on social media have fake tan to look golden, fake nails to look more ‘girly’ and in pictures pose so that they look like they have bigger breasts and a curvier bum than they do in reality. In my opinion this is because of the images we see on social media like Instagram and Snap Chat.
Parents should be careful about what they say around young people
I think parents should be more careful of what they say around young people because it could have an impact on them for the rest of their life. Yes, parents should be encouraging a healthy lifestyle for their children but we also need the flexibility to make our own decisions. Yes, parents should encourage their children to talk to them but we may not always want to when asked, be available whenever you can.
My message to each and every teenager
If I could say something to each and every teenager whatever their gender and wherever they live it would be this – appreciate what your body can do not on what it can’t do – and in the words of Little Mix ‘take off all my makeup cause I love what is under it’ Strip, 2018
Practical tips to improve how you think and feel about your body
- Notice the people and accounts you’re following on social media and be mindful of how you feel about your own body and appearance when you look at them.