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Body image, awareness and self-acceptance

To empower girls to have a self-like, to know who they are and be confident to be themselves

One of the top concerns for teens is how you look. Your 'body image' is created from how confident you are about your looks, what you think of how you look and what you think others see when they look at you. A negative body image can develop when someone is unhappy with how they look.

Its normal to have feelings of self-consciousness and to have views on how you think you look to others. Being positive about yourself brings an inner peace whereas having a negative image of yourself can affect both your self-esteem and your health. Hence, its important to give time to getting to know who you want to be and being comfortable with who you are.

How is body image formed?

Lots of things affect how you look: gender, fashion, build, size, weight, skin, appearance, religious identity and culture. Our culture - especially due to the influence of media - leads people to judge others based on how they look and that can add to the pressure of finding your own identity.  The images created by media can lead girls to create desires about how they want to look but since these images are normally altered to look better, comparing yourself with these could leave you feeling disappointment or not good enough. Famous people are starting to fight back against the fake body images that the media are creating: e.g. Kate Winslet's modelling contact with L'Oreal has a 'No Photoshop' clause in it. Here's a link to a YouTube clip to show you a bit more on Photoshop alteration of real bodies to those you see in the media:

Given all the other changes going on during teenage years this can often feel like a struggle even though it is a normal part of growing up. Many teens will find who they want to be and be comfortable with it, but for some it may be too much and  lead to a lot of unhappiness and distress. Trying to change who you are sometimes creates bad eating habits which may develop into anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa - please see the section for this if that's you or might be you.

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