Body image is the term used to describe the way that we see ourselves. It’s how we think and feel about our appearance and the relationship we have with our bodies. Most people from time to time feel unsure or lack confidence in their image and appearance such as having thoughts about wanting to be a bit taller or worrying about what our hair or skin might look like. For a lot of people they worry about the size and shape of their body. Boys and girls can worry about their body image and appearance and these worries can have a really big impact on daily life. For some young people, they worry so much it can get in the way of school, friendships and socialising as well as their mood and emotional wellbeing.
Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves in general. People with good self-esteem are generally confident and accepting of themselves, they are able to see their positive qualities and experience feelings such as pride in themselves. Those with low self-esteem may experience thoughts or beliefs about not being good enough or as good as other people and may struggle to identify positive qualities or characteristics in themselves. People with low self-esteem may struggle to make friends or struggle at school which only makes them believe they are not as good as others even more.
Lots of things can help to boost our body image and self-esteem including;
Relationships with our friends and families
Doing activities and hobbies that we enjoy and are good at
Achieving our goals
Having things to look forward to and plans
Recognising what we do well at and noticing our strengths and positive qualities.
There are also lots of things that can have a negative impact on our body-image and self-esteem, including;
Comparing ourselves to others. This happens a lot on social media where you can be bombarded by pictures and messages about what others are doing.
Being bullied or feeling unsupported and unappreciated by others
Not having hobbies or interests so boredom and dissatisfaction with yourself and your life can set in.
Not spending time with other people; avoiding or withdrawing from social contact can make you feel more isolated and alone