Body image of younger teens and preteens is an extremely difficult topic. At New Moon, we have the fabulous influence of a body-positive, feminist-fueled community proudly proclaiming that everyone is beautiful. Yet, when you’re not on New Moon, keeping your own positive body image can be very tricky.
When you become a tween or teen, some of your thoughts and desires can seem completely new and different to you. The same can apply to your body. As you lose and gain weight, and acquire hips and breasts, it can be genuinely frightening- especially if you’re doing these things at a different speed than your friends. Just like most people compare grades and favorite TV shows with their friends, some girls also begin to compare bodies, which is never a good idea. You may start, completely accidentally, replacing the phrase, “Everyone is beautiful,” with, “Those girls all look so pretty- except me. I wish I wasn’t so flat-chested.” Maybe you even realize that these thoughts are silly. You know that every body is unique and beautiful in its own way, and that is true for everyone!
If these thoughts begin to become routine and make you feel bad about yourself, you might be unsure of what to do. Maybe your friends also complain about their bodies, or maybe they don’t and you feel that you’re the only one with these thoughts. No matter what, it’s can be very awkward. For some girls on NMG, they see positive messages about body image all the time, but then feel even more ashamed about not being as postive about their bodies.
Instead of feeling ashamed that you don’t feel as confident in your body image as other girls seem to, you can find ways that you are happy with yourself for who you are instead of how you look. Are you a great friend? Artist? Writer? What would you tell a friend if they felt this way?
Many girls struggle with body image, and it is NOTHING to be ashamed of.
New Moon is here to help girls have healthy relationships with their bodies. They work with the Emily Program to get girl-friendly resources about being friends with your body. And there is even a professional who answers YOUR questions if you’re confused about how you feel about your body!
If you have negative thoughts about your body image and feel that you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Tell your mom, your older sister, your teacher, or your friend. Having negative thoughts about your body has a bad reputation for spiraling out of control, and if you feel like you need help, please talk to someone.
The low self esteem that comes with feeling badly about how you look can keep you from doing completely awesome things with your life, and the first step to eliminating negative body thoughts is expressing your feelings. You can talk about your thoughts with body image on the Sister to Sister message board.