Feeling self-conscious recently? You’re definitely not alone.

Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, not thinking too much of it, and come across models with the body and skin that you’ve always dreamed of? Yep. Happens to me probably on a daily basis. Everyone has been told that social media has an impact on what people believe their body should look like, or what the ‘ideal’ life looks like. We all have heard that Instagram and other social media platforms have had an effect on body image and influencing body standards, especially towards women. I would always hear these statements and think nothing of it. “I have more self-control than to let a picture make me feel self-conscious” or “I’m not analyzing social media as much as they’re saying”, but in reality, I really was. Do you ever catch yourself taking an extra minute to look at your skin and saying how trash it is? Or just staring at your stretch marks or cellulite (which is VERY NORMAL!!) and being like, “yeah nope”.

 

I know I am not the only girl who has done this, because this issue of the ideal body has been a problematic issue in the fashion/social media business. In a study with 1,500 young adults, “Instagram was named the worst social media app for one’s mental health and wellbeing”, according to TIME magazine. One of the biggest issues with Instagram was its effect on body image and self-confidence.

 

As a woman who has struggled with her body image for years, let me be the first one to tell you that you are valid AND that you are enough. It definitely sucks to not be at a place where you feel confident. You look around and see other girls and they look, (keyword: look), like they have their sh*t together. Let me just say, they don’t. No one does. Everyone is struggling to deal with their issues as much as you are. While some girls may feel more confident than others at times, insecurity has had its fair share with everyone at one point or another.

So, you’re on board that you’ve definitely felt insecure or self-conscious, but what can you do about it? Is there a way to eliminate those thoughts or at least feel better about it? Yes, and yes. There are many ways to feel better about yourself, and the first step involves a very special person. Yes, you! You can’t ever feel better if you don’t take the first step of acknowledging your best qualities and understanding that there are things to pay less and more attention to. Slowly practicing positive affirmations and self-praise will help you get to a point of self-appreciation and self-love. This process is definitely not an easy one. It will take time and patience, but it is so worth it. It is so powerful to be able to look at yourself and tell yourself how wonderful and beautiful you truly are. As the Buddha rightfully said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”.