Body image: How to love what you see in the mirror

Having a positive body image is important for your mental and emotional well-being. Here are some ways you can work on how you view yourself in the mirror and in your mind.

Body image is how you feel about your appearance and how you think others perceive your looks. Having a positive body image is important for your self-esteem — it can help you feel more confident and self-assured. However, things like puberty, popular culture and bullying can have a negative effect on body image.

To develop a more positive body image, try to keep these thoughts in mind:

  • No one is perfect: people come in all shapes and sizes, and no one is perfect. Almost everyone wishes they could change something about themselves, no matter who they are or what they look like.
  • You are special: try to remember that there is no one else in the world who is just like you. The things that make you unique are what make you special. Be proud of yourself!
  • Your health is important: if you want to make changes to your body, set goals for becoming healthier and stronger. Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep can help you feel better.
  • Be true to yourself: it’s OK to be yourself when choosing clothes and accessories. It can be fun to express your individuality through clothing, tattoos, jewellery, makeup, hair colour and more.
  • Self-acceptance is key: try to let go of the things you can’t change. Concentrate on the positive and celebrate your body’s individual abilities and strengths.
  • Talking can be good: you can try asking someone else what they love about you (and do the same for them in return). They may be able to share their own tips for a positive body image, too.
  • Beauty has many definitions: the majority of people don’t look like celebrities. Although western beauty ideals dominate in the media, different cultures have their own beauty standards. Beauty is subjective – this means everyone has a different idea of what beauty looks like.
  • Be kind to yourself: try to avoid critical, negative self-talk about your body. Some people like to post words of encouragement where they’ll see them every day. You could write, “I will love myself just the way I am today.”
  • Getting support can help: if you’re struggling with body image, it may be helpful to talk to a friend, parent/caregiver, teacher or other safe adult about it. Kids Help Phone’s counsellors are available 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868 if you need support.

How you view your body, both in the mirror and in your mind, is important. Being kind and true to yourself can help you develop a more positive body image.

Need more information or support? You can contact Kids Help Phone 24/7.