I love movies, yet at times, I’ve come to realize that my lack of confidence in my body may be linked to that favourite of mine which is how the way thin bodies are depicted in the media. We easily found thin bodies are often promoted as ideal, portrayed as main characters. In contrast, images or portrayals of overweight and obese characters often carry stigma, further reinforcing the thin ideal. An analysis of television programs indeed shows that obese persons are under-represented, and thin persons are over-represented. And I think this is somehow responsible for nearly 80% of Americans feeling dissatisfied with how their bodies look (https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/most-americans-experience-feeling-dissatisfied-with-body-looks-from-time-to-time).
This is such a shocking number, right?
So, if you’ve ever felt unhappy with the way your body looks, know that you aren’t alone. That’s why I think this post is very important, especially for women who I see often being the target of attacks based on looks and appearance. This is also a sensitive topic for me as I spent a large amount of time in my 20s battling with my body image, and today I think I’m confident and experienced enough for me to be able to talk about it and share with you how to feel confident in your body. So, grab your tea girl and let’s get into it.
How to feel confident in your body
First of all, does confident really make you more beautiful?
Before getting into how to feel confident in your body, I want to talk a little bit about why we need to be confident. While beauty standards vary across cultures and individuals, confidence is often universally regarded as an attractive trait.
Being confident is not just an advice we often heard that will help us become more beautiful; being confident itself also make us feel good. That why, we may think that is it too good to be true? and people just say that to comfort us.
From scientific perspective
Fortunately, being confident ‘s not merely for motivational talk. A 2011 study in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” revealed that people displaying confident body language were rated as more attractive by their peers. Confidence indeed can significantly impact how others perceive your physical appearance and overall presence.
Consider this: you’ve likely encountered people who, despite appearing ordinary, effortlessly capture attention through their confidence and unapologetic authenticity. Feeling good about being themselves lies at the core of their confidence.
The psychology and spiritual perspective
Have you ever pondered whether the Law of Attraction plays a role in this confidence concept? Surprisingly, it does. According to the Law of Attraction, everything on the same frequency naturally attract and magnify each other.
So, when you exude insecurity and discomfort with yourself, others might notice and feel it too. On the flip side, being confident and happy makes you shine with beauty. Your good qualities stand out, like your smile, skin, and overall attractiveness. It’s not just the physical traits; it’s the vibes and confidence that make all the good things from you stand out.
In psychology, a similar explanation exists. When we perceive someone as attractive, our brains instinctively seek to analyze and attribute that attractiveness to specific features. Special characteristics stand out, and we may attribute their attractiveness to these features. However, it’s the confidence that truly makes them attractive and sets them apart.
In conclusion, the answer is yes. Confidence is not just some feel-good cliché advice; it does make you look better in others’ eyes.
That’s exactly why you’re here today to learn how to feel confident in your body.
How to feel confident in your body
You gotta exercise
Exercise is not optional if you want to feel confident in your body. You don’t necessarily need to exercise for hours per day; at least 10 minutes of working out is enough (of course, the more exercise you do, the better).
Exercise not only helps your body get toner and healthier, but the most important aspect is how exercise makes you feel. Exercise helps release endorphins, known as natural mood lifters, improves cognitive function, and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety.
Exercise gives us the feeling that our body is looking better every day, making us feel healthy. The feeling, in my opinion, is even more important than the actual impact that exercise has on our body.
One thing about exercise is that you may think it’s hard and exhausting, but in fact, once you start and make it a habit for the first 20 days, it becomes a part of your routine. Whenever you’re not exercising, you may feel fatigue and low energy because you are so used to the mood lifter that exercise brings.
I was not a believer; I was never an active person. I was always a couch potato, loving to lie on my bed, sleep, and watch movies. There is nothing I love more than staying in my bed (today, I still do), but trust me, exercise will become an addiction once you get into it.
Wear nice clothes only
Clothes play such an important part in helping you feel confident in your body. Exercising and getting in shape is great, but if you choose the wrong clothes, you might not look your best and feel uncomfortable which, in turn, makes it hard to feel confident in your body.
Clothes should not only help make you look better but also reflect your personality, something that truly represents you.
Don’t buy too many clothes or purchase anything just because you kind of like it. In 99% of these cases, you’ll end up tossing it to the back of your closet after wearing it just once. Only buy clothes that you really like, or should I say, are obsessed with. It’s even better if you don’t buy anything you like at the moment; come back to buy it only if you still keep thinking about it. You don’t have to have a lot of clothes; it’s better to have just a few, but make sure they’re good quality.
For clothes, a classy girl always goes for quality over quantity.
One more thing I want to mention is that it’s good to wear nice clothes not only when you go out but also when you’re at home, even if you live alone. Wearing comfy yet nice clothes and looking put together at home helps you get into the habit of loving yourself and feeling confident. Also, being in your best state, even at home, has been proven to help you be more productive and have more energy to do things.
Stop all the comparisons
Comparisons are what undermine your confidence. It doesn’t make sense to compare yourself to anyone else because everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way. Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and energy.
Another thing to note is that when you compare yourself to others, it’s rarely fair. We tend to have a negative bias in these comparisons. For example, you might feel like you’re less social than others. However, in reality, when making these comparisons, you often choose the most social people you know and compare yourself to them. Most of the time, we compare ourselves with those who excel in a specific area that we’re aware of, making us feel even worse about ourselves.
So, the next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to anyone else, you just need to stop and remind yourself of all the qualities and uniqueness that you have. You are not here to compete or prove anything to anyone. That’s why comparing only makes you feel miserable and unhappy.
Separate your self-worth from your appearance
We’ve learned, in various ways, that our worth is tied to our looks. But when you realize that your value isn’t determined by how you look, you’ll come closer to feeling good about your body.
In reality, connecting everything to your self-worth is a sign of low self-esteem. Your self-worth is unwavering; you deserve everything you want in life, and nothing can deny that. Even if you don’t fit society’s beauty standards, it doesn’t mean you’re not a worthy person.
Strike a pose
Okay, this might sound weird and stupid, but this simple technique really helps me a lot with my body image issue. It’s all about learning to love looking at yourself in the mirror.
I know that for some people, especially those struggling with how they see their bodies, they might really dislike looking at themselves in the mirror or feel afraid of taking pictures. But actually looking at yourself in the mirror and even striking a few poses in front of the mirror can make you love yourself more.
During this process, you start to realize the good things about yourself that you normally overlook. Sure, in the beginning, you might see more of the things you think are not so great about yourself. But as you keep trying, you’ll slowly start to notice the good things about yourself.
One small tip is to do something nice on your look before making a pose in front of the mirror. It doesn’t have to be much; you don’t need a full face of makeup or fancy clothes. Just make sure your hair is nice and clean, your clothes are comfortable and good-looking. You may also experiment with a new hairstyle or try on a different type of clothes that you don’t often wear, or perhaps, you’re not confident enough to wear them outside. For me, sometimes I put on a lot of makeup, fix my hair, and stand in front of the mirror just to see myself and feel happy. Yeah, I’ve done that, and even after that I had to wash my face and then go to bed, I still feel happy about myself.
Invest in beauty and fashion for yourself
This is also something I’ve noticed has changed a lot in myself. When I didn’t love myself and felt insecure about my body, I didn’t even want to spend time taking care of myself. I had no interest in beauty and fashion, even though I’m a girl. I felt like those things weren’t for me, as they seemed to only fit with beautiful and pretty girls. I even thought it was just my personality not to be into those things.
But as I grew up, I gradually understood why women seem to love everything about beauty and fashion. It’s natural to want to take care of yourself and look better and it does play an important part in how to feel confident in your body.
Have you ever heard about “The lip stick effect”? A Havard study found out that female students who wear make up tend to have higher self-esteem and higher grades than studenst not wearing make up.
The researchers wrote in an academic paper published in Cogent Psychology and stated that ” In line with our predictions, we found a significant effect of make-up on a multiple-choice test performance, with scores being significantly higher compared to those obtained after listening to positive music and coloring a face”
Another thing is using more colors is help to improve your mood. A simple thing like wearing makeup in cheerful shades like reds, pinks, or oranges may help lift up your mood and make you feel more confident.
Putting on colorful makeup is like showing off your creative side and expressing yourself. It can make you feel happy and positive. When you use makeup to let your personality and style shine, it’s a cool way to be yourself.
So, to help you love yourself more, start investing your time and a little money in beauty and fashion for yourself. It’s not just about looking better; the act of doing so makes you love yourself more. Because that’s when you are actively doing things for yourself, taking care of yourself. The more we take care of something, the more we tend to naturally appreciate and treasure it.
I hope my post on how to feel confident in your body has provided you with some helpful suggestions. Confidence in your body is probably one of the most important factors that determine your overall happiness in life. And remember, confidence is attainable, regardless of your appearance. So, seize it and live your life to the fullest. Feel free to share your thoughts and any suggestions in the comments below.