July 5, 2018 HOW DO I LEARN TO LOVE MY BODY??? Hey Nikki, I’m someone who struggles with how they look. I never feel confident about myself and always think I look the worst with groups of friends. I don’t know how to accept myself and to love who I am. Any advice? 🙁 How Do I Love The Skin I’m In Hi How Do I Love The Skin I’m In, Well first of all, welcome to the club! I think this is such a normal struggle. Which is a bummer—I wish there weren’t so many teens and tweens constantly down on themselves about their appearance. But there’s something comforting about knowing you’re not alone, I think. At least there is for me. And sometimes it helps to remember that other people are probably way too busy worrying about their own looks to be judging you for yours. But you asked how to accept yourself and love your body, and I think that’s the most awesome! Because instead of accepting that everyone feels insecure sometimes, the BEST thing would be to feel awesome about yourself! So I’m no expert – I have plenty of days where I get up and look in the mirror and groan. But! There are also some tricks I’ve found and things I’m still working on! And maybe others can give us some ideas in the comments! Here are my ideas: Focus on what your body can DO. Think about it: your body allows you to move through the world! If you play a sport or play a musical instrument or do some kind of performance art, you use your body! When you speak, run, eat, watch movies, text your friends—all of that is happening because your body is one AWESOME machine! Set a physical goal. When thinking about what your body can DO, make a goal for something you want to train for. Running a 5K, doing 100 push-ups, choreographing a dance to your favorite song. When you see what your body can achieve, it’s hard to be mad at it! (And this isn’t about changing the shape of your body through exercise—it’s about celebrating the cool thing your body can DO.) Focus on what you like about your appearance. There’s got to be something! Maybe you like your hair, your smile, or your nails. Whatever it is, focus on that when you’re feeling down. And maybe take some special care of it – spend some extra time on a cool hairdo, or paint your nails, etc. Wear clothes that make you feel confident. No matter what your face or body look like, and no matter how much money you have, everyone should have an outfit, or a particular accessory they just LOVE. It might be a hoodie from Goodwill, or a pair of perfectly worn-in jeans. Whatever it is, pull it out when you need an extra boost of confidence. Give yourself props for inner beauty. I know this sounds kind of cheesy, but beauty isn’t all about cheekbones and hair extensions, right? I mean, I can think of someone who might be considered beautiful by society’s standards, but she is SUPER ugly on the inside. (Her name might rhyme with Lackenzie Mollister.) I’m not saying outward beauty doesn’t matter. Because it does. It’s one of the first things people notice about us. If I ignore that, I’m lying to you. But it is NOT the only thing people notice. And I’m sure there must be things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your appearance. Your intelligence, your creativity, what a good friend/sister/listener you are, etc etc etc. Appearance matters. But these other things matter MORE. Make peace with what you can’t change. Obsessing about your appearance doesn’t change anything, but it makes you miserable. And the worst is when you obsess over things you have ZERO control over. Like, if you dislike your shoes, you can change them. But if you hate your height? Or the texture of your hair? Or your body type? There’s no way out of that deep, dark hole! So learn to find the beauty in those things. Because your body is going to be your body for the rest of your life. It’ll be much easier for both of you if you’re friends! I hope that helps! Read through the comments, too, because I bet some of my awesome readers will have more suggestions. What makes you guys feel confident? Tell me one thing you LOVE about your appearance!