Teens are very susceptible to body image issues. At a time when your mind is in rebellion and your body seems to be changing in weird ways, it could be hard to tackle the world. Your confidence can take a beating because of the way you look.
The question of confidence- Body image issues
Every generation has its own beauty standards and it is obvious that the majority will not fit in. However, what we have always noticed is that dark skin, body weight and shyness are almost always termed unattractive. They were unattractive in your parent’s generation too. Imagine the number of students who will be ignored, mocked and bullied because of their skin color or their weight or their inability to convey their thoughts explicitly.
Every generation has its own beauty standards and it is obvious that the majority will not fit in
What is making us all hate these traits in people? Why have we, as an open and free generation, decided that there is only one kind of beauty? Who should we blame when our teens are not able to understand that people should be loved for who they are and not how they look?
Why have we, as an open and free generation, decided that there is only one kind of beauty?
As a teenager, my biggest confidence issue was related to my weight and my skin color. Of course, I had more melanin and a lot of colors that I liked did not look very good on me. I was not particularly shy. I was quite outspoken. However, my level of personal interaction was still low. Even though I was a merit student and was quite good with co-curricular activities, my weight was an issue, for me and for everyone else. It was quite a thing to buy a bigger size in skirts, shirts and even track suits. Damn! I could not suggest my hatred for track suits as they made you look awkward, clumsy and anything other than sporty! But that is that. A uniform is a uniform.
However, I somehow managed to handle my dwindling confidence through my teens and carried a stronger torch of positive body image in my adulthood. I would not boast that I have a positive body image all the time. Even today, there are times when I feel that I could have been thinner and more confident. That is natural but when you grow up you realize that you don’t always have to be thin and white to be confident. I realize that now and even though I sometimes think I could have been a size 2, I am happy with a size 14.
Body image- a real question by a reader
Years after struggling with my own issues related to skin color and weight, I had to come face to face with my own challenges. A reader on Quora asked me a question about her teen body issues. She was shy, had dark skin and weight a few extra pounds. She was loved by everyone and was a merit student but the way she looked was coming in the way of her confidence.
That, my friends, is not the best feeling in the world.
Here is the complete question:
I’m merit student.Everyone loves me for good nature.But I feel shy to address anyone because of dark skin, obese body, old fashioned type.what to do?
Here is my answer:
Looks like I am talking to my 15 year old self except for the fact that I was never self conscious. Not bragging, just telling you that confidence is also a personality trait. You are dark skinned, obese and shy- so what? Are you shy because you are shy by nature or because you are ashamed of yourself?
I may sound rude here but come on. Being shy is just your personality. It is okat. Accept it. You are only a student. Your persona may change. If you can’t talk to people because you are dark and obese, give yourself the shock of your life- it does not matter.
You cannot build up confidence by being thinner and lighter. Doing so can help your ego and your supposed social and self esteem. It is not confidence. Confidence comes from believing in yourself and being proud of who you are regardless of any physical traits.
So if you are shy, don’t worry. That is just who you are. Shy people also have friends, careers, love lives and happily married lives too. If you are ashamed of yourself, first practice some self compassion. It is okay. Imperfection is human and everyone is imperfect in one way or the other. Then, if you want to lose weight, do it.
Remember it will be a long and difficult journey. So be confident whatever size you are. Be confident whatever skin color you have. Just be confident and believe. You are a good student so I am sure you will fare really well in life. Don’t worry. Wear clothes that suit you, get a good haircut and have a little fun. Life is good if you get over all this, isn’t it?
Truly, what is life if we don’t get a few obstacles here and there? The real power of human will is to overcome these challenges. No matter what you look like, how introverted you are, there will always be people who will love you and support you. Don’t ever lose confidence because of looks. Who you are inside is what matters and trust me, I am speaking this by experience.