The annual ‘swimsuit season’ is approaching and this season can bring waves of low self-esteem and self doubt. When students reach their teenage years it can be especially hard to feel confident. With social media surrounding society it is nearly impossible to avoid the feeling of being worthless. Instagram models, facetune, celebrities promoting extreme exercise and dieting, are all aspects of the negative effect that social media can bring on students body image and confidence. With all of this negative energy, it is often easy to forget how much the body does and how much it should be appreciated.
“Being body positive is just to see yourself in a positive light, and to try and think positive things about yourself,” sophomore Sonya Hansen said.
For many teenagers, being body positive is something that doesn’t come easy. While many may have these negative thoughts, there are different ways to combat this kind of mentality to try and keep a more positive outlook on one’s body image.
“I like to do things that I like, so if I like something, I make sure to surround myself with it,” junior Kimia Beigzadeh said.
A major part of keeping up a positive mindset stems from the environment that one is surrounded with. It is important to partake in things that are enjoyed, and to be surrounded with people who will lift up self esteem rather than tear down one’s self image.
At certain times when it seems nearly impossible to think of anything that the body does do to make life easier, it’s beneficial to take actions like these. First, appreciate all that the body can do. Try to think of the times when the body was helpful. Whether it was participating in an athletic competition, or fighting off an illness. Acknowledge what the body can physically provide.
“I like to set goals for myself that I think I can achieve,” Hansen said.
This follows the idea that ‘true beauty’ is not just skin-deep. Personality, academic skills, and athletic skills all play a much bigger part in who a person is than anything that can only be seen with the naked eye. It is important to be looked at as a whole. Take the positive things that other close friends and family see to heart. Everyone is always their own worst critic, and this can make it easy for them to lose sight of the best parts of themselves.
According to Psych Central, when someone is struggling with their body image it is important to be there for them, and encourage them. If they’re comfortable, it is good for them to open up about how they’re feeling about their body so that if needed, they can get help. Being there for other people when they need it is important, but being there for one’s self should always be prioritized.
“When struggling with self doubt, find someone that you really admire and look at how they influence you and look up people who share your body style,” junior Elise Malkowski said.
Coming up onto ‘swimsuit season’, being what society sees as ‘swimsuit ready’ can put a lot of pressure on teenagers. The most important thing is to make sure to be surrounded by people and things that help to create a self loving and positive environment, and that can encourage one to be the best version of themself.