How to Improve Your Body Image

As the school year drawls to a close and summer arrives, it is important to remember that you are beautiful! While this is a message that should be reiterated all year, in the hottest part of the year when we are shopping for bathing suits and thinking about the weight we put on from getting late night from Hoover, it is important to maintain a positive body image. These are things that everyone struggles with, so here are some ways to be happy with the way you look this summer.

Log Off

We are all guilty of it. You scroll through your Instagram feed double-tapping pictures of girls and secretly wishing you looked like the person in the picture. Sometimes it is good to log off for a couple days so you aren’t tempted to compare yourself to others and can start to focus on all the things that make you uniquely beautiful. This detox doesn’t have to last forever, but can be good break from the constant pressures put on women in today’s society.

Compliment Yourself

I don’t mean you literally have to look in the mirror and say out loud, “You look nice today,” but remembering to acknowledge the things you like about yourself will make you more confident. It is easy to fixate only on the features we don’t like about ourselves. A good exercise, especially if you are feeling a little down, is to make a list of all the things you love about yourself. Taking just a minute to focus on these positive points in your appearance will help you forget about the features that make you self-conscious.

Ditch the Numbers

Who cares about your weight, your height, or what size pants you wear? Everyone is built differently, and therefore these numbers are purely a measurement. Quit checking the scale every day or fretting over moving up a size. Concentrating too hard on arbitrary numbers can lead you feeling drained and hopeless instead of beautiful. The only true test of whether you look good or not is your own opinion of yourself.

Be Healthy

Have you ever noticed that when you eat right and work out, you actually feel better? If you treat your body right, you will be more confident in how you look too. There is also a good chance that if you are making healthy choices, you will start to actually lose weight. This doesn’t mean starving yourself or taking drastic measures to improve your body; it means living your life but making healthy choices. Be realistic and positive about your choices and progress.  

Shop at Arie

Buying a bathing suit can be frustrating. It is hard to shop online and see size 0, sun-kissed models, knowing the suit won’t look the same on you. Wearing a bathing suit should make you feel empowered, not vulnerable. Arie, a branch of American Eagle, uses models of all different size, races, and ethnicities to model their swimwear. They also don’t retouch or Photoshop the girls, so what you see in the picture is a realistic image. Seeing the beauty in these untraditional models makes it easier for you to feel confident.

Be Happy

You always hear, “A smile is your best accessory.” It is true; a smile shows you are confident and happy. No matter what your body looks like, people are going to notice your smile first. A smile also makes you happier. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, do it anyway and eventually your body will tell your brain you do and you’ll be happy. At the end of the day, that should be the only thing that matters anyway. So wear your favorite shirt, eat that ice cream cone, and love yourself.