Do you find it funny how difficult it usually is to persuade toddlers to take a shower only for them to grow into teenagehood and become all too particular about their looks? This is perhaps common to the girls who do not only spend excessive amount of time dressing up and then rush every mirror they see to size and assess their looks. Truth is that it is natural for teenagers to act this way. As they grow and experience puberty, teens tend to become a lot more concerned about their appearances. And there is more- this constant changes do not only affect the outward appearance; body image is affected too. And this is exactly where the worry lies because the moment a teenager allows their [unfavorable] body image affect their psyche, it more or less results in more complicated issues, including low self esteem and depression.
It is therefore important for teenagers to be encouraged to love their bodies they way they are. However, developing a healthy body image isn’t something that happens suddenly. It is a gradual process, and can be influenced by experiences and shaped by the opinions as well as the feedback of others. Meanwhile, in order for teenagers to love their bodies whether pretty or ugly, two things need to happen- teenagers must simply come to terms with their looks even as those around them must encourage them to do so. Take a look below at how teens can come to terms with their self images…
Find a way to belong! Peers groups and even the kind of close friends you keep as a teen all directly or indirectly play key roles in ultimately making you become self-conscious of the way you look. There will be mates/friends who will compliment your looks or simply castigate you for looking horrible. You certainly do not want to be friends with those who make it seem as though you are the most hideous being in the world. That said, a good way to belong is to befriend people who will accept you for who you are, not too patronizing and also not unnecessarily mean and critical.
Make your own fashion statement! As teenagers, you are free to experiment with any form of fashion; you’d be pardoned for your faux pas. Experimenting with your own fashion statement will not only help you define who you want to be in terms of fashion and beauty, it will also help you assert your personality and be confident.
Moving on then, parents and teachers also have roles to play towards ensuring that the self-image of teenagers are healthy and positive. This they can do by providing the necessary support, giving positive messages and simply loving the teens for who they are; beautiful or ugly.
That said, parents and teachers have the following roles to play in this regard-
- Accept and understand teenagers in spite of their looks.
- Give lots of compliments to the teens whenever you can.
- Compliment what’s inside too.
- Talk about what appearances mean.
- Set reasonable boundaries as to the extent teens should go with trying to enhance their looks.
- Be a good role model.