Seven in ten girls believe that they’re not good enough or don’t measure up to society’s standards, whether it’s looks, performance in school, family life, or relationships with friends. Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as simply attending school, when they’re feeling insecure.
Self-image is something we have all had to deal with in one way or another. I know I struggle with it every single day, and I tend to focus on needing others’ approval to be happy.
Comparing Myself To Others
Most days, I can’t help but compare myself to others. My sisters have always been in the “smarter” classes, and that makes me feel like I constantly need to thrive for what they naturally have. There is a constant fear that I will disappoint my parents if I don’t succeed at a high level like my sisters.
It’s also a struggle to compare my flaws to the qualities of all the “pretty girls” I come across. Both in-person and on social media. It causes me to wonder why I can’t look like them, with their clear skin and perfectly toned bodies. I look in the mirror and see someone who doesn’t know how to love herself….and it’s hard.
So, how exactly do I learn to love who I am without focusing on everyone else’s opinions? Here’s the secret I’ve discovered for myself—there will never really be a correct answer because there will always be a part of me with some self-doubt.
Take A Break From Social Media & Focus On Yourself
Sometimes, self-love is too tricky – impossible even. Occasionally, we have to focus on self-appreciation instead. Love is a strong word, and if you don’t think you can apply it to yourself at the moment, try to appreciate the things you have and the different traits you like about yourself. Think about what makes you happy and unique-those are the things that make you, YOU!
One thing that I’ve found that works for me are to take a break from social media. Yes, all of it! All the different platforms and the comparison traps they cause can genuinely be toxic and harmful to your mental health. It can be incredibly freeing to take a few hours to myself and find something to do with my family or go outdoors for a little bit or even chill with some fun music.
My family and friends are always there for me when I’m feeling down, but it is really up to me to find the confidence to gain self-love. It’s important that we all focus on making everyone feel like life is worth living and that no one is perfect; the idea of that is just an illusion.
So to all of the women reading this, I want you to know that you don’t need to change for others’ approval. Your flaws are what make you beautiful, and I hope you never forget that.
As an organization that values women and seeks to help every woman we serve to feel confident in herself and her decisions, we are here to help battle the doubt and uncertainty that can come with facing an unplanned pregnancy. If you need that support and empowerment, Birthright is here to provide the professional and compassionate care you deserve! Call or text today!