A Teen's Guide to Learning How to Love Your Body

Beauty & Style

Why do so many teen girls struggle with body image?

Gen Z is all about social media, and we couldn't even imagine life without technology or Instagram feeds. It became our whole lives and that's where the problem begins. When we look at celebrities' posts, like Kylie Jenner for example, we see a perfectly shaped woman with no flaws on the screen. The perfect thin waist, big bust, and behind, full lips, and all of that nonsense we are told fit the “beauty standard”. Young girls, especially, start comparing themselves as to why they don't look like those pictures. Even in movies, teen characters are played by mature adults in their 20s who are far more developed than the average 15-year-old girl. We see these women all over social media apps and movies and start to wonder, am I not pretty enough?

Social media is FAKE. Angles, filters, Photoshop, it all exists! But, we tend to forget this and get caught up in comparisons and self-hate. So, here is a little guide to finding that love for your body again.

5 tips For Learning How to Love Your body

1. Experiment with Makeup

I've heard plenty of times that “putting on makeup makes you less beautiful because it isn't natural” from the male population. News Flash! That's totally wrong. Men have this mindset that we put eyeliner on for them. For their approval. If you have heard things like this far too much, let's get that out of your head, babe! Now! Women never should put on makeup for a male to think they are pretty enough. We should put it on FOR OURSELVES. IT'S TO MAKE OURSELVES FEEL CONFIDENT. I've learned that watching tutorials on YouTube and expressing myself with my brushes and eyeshadow really gave me a lot of confidence. I would recommend using products that highlight your already gorgeous features, not cover them. Putting on makeup and learning what makes you feel the most beautiful is a great way to not only express yourself but realize we don't need men's approval to feel like a queen.

2. Watch “I Feel Pretty”

The Plot: A plus-size woman who embodies the average person in society, with insecurities, and “imperfections” bumps her head and something magical happens. From the head damage, she starts to believe she is skinny and “beautiful”, but in reality, nothing has changed. She takes on life with absolutely no fear in any part of her body, feeling powerful as this new pretty woman. The sweet part of this movie is understanding how much she accomplished and how beautiful she is naturally even if she didn't fit the “beauty standard”. I have watched this about 7 times on my own and with my family. It really helps you feel beautiful in your own skin, and it's a must-watch.

You can find this movie on Hulu, Amazon, Fios, or YouTube. If you don't have access to this movie, find free clips on YouTube just by searching up the title.

3.Find your style!

Clothing has a lot to do with how confident we feel when we go outside in our bodies. If we don't like what we are leaving the house in, it makes it almost impossible to love the body that is underneath. Go on a fashion researching party!

Here are some of my favorite online stores:

1. Cider

This shop focuses on a fairy-cottage core theme. They have beautiful flowy skirts and gorgeous items in browns and greens.

2. Killstar

This website is full of “gothic” fashion ranging from trendy skirts to unique boots. This style is for a very particular taste, but it is very cool.

3. ASOS

The link leads you to awesome baggy clothes with amazing prints on the t-shirts. Some items are labeled for “men”, but who cares? Fashion doesn't have gender, to be honest with you. This is where to take a look if you like more lose fitting, but trendy clothing.

4. Francesca's

They have many stores in person as well as websites for online shopping. I have been in this store more times than I could count. They sell really beautiful boutique-like items for a more modest, but gorgeous look.

There are SO MANY more amazing places to check out than the stores I listed. These are just a few to get you started on your journey. Have fun hunting and learning!

4. Repeating Affirmations In the Mirror

Every day in the morning look at yourself in the mirror and repeat this:

I am beautiful.

I love my imperfections because it makes me real.

I am worthy of love.

I am so powerful.

I am a beautiful creation.

I know talking to yourself in the mirror may seem silly or awkward, but I promise it isn't. It genuinely helps after making it a part of your daily routine. This is my affirmation, but you can research some others that you may like! Give it a shot!

5. Find spiritual balance

A huge part of confidence is your mindset. What I have found personally very helpful is using natural products to help soothe my body. Get yourself a rose quartz crystal to start. Many people think it's only good for romance, but it is actually great for self-love. Carry it around wherever you go. Once a week, at night, light a nice candle. Turn on your favorite music and dance in your bra and undies. You heard me right. Dance in them! Let the music sink in and the scent of the candle relax your mind. Find the beauty in yourself. These tips have really helped me on my journey, and I'm sure they will for you too!

I've experienced quite a lot of bullying before I lost weight because I wasn't as thin as the girls in my classes or camp. I have so many insecurities and trauma from my childhood, but I have been able to heal, so you can too. I want you to know that I believe in you. We are all gorgeous creations on this planet that can bring life into the world. We face hardships on a daily, and we are so incredibly strong. If you are ever struggling with your self-esteem, feel free to DM my Instagram: click here if you need to talk to someone

I'd love to hear your story and be here to support you. You aren't alone, and you deserve to love who you are.

Sarah Serran
5,000+ pageviews

Sarah Serran is a young artist living in NYC, who has her own podcast and YouTube channel. She loves to write and work on her spiritual balance using herbs, crystals, candles, etc. Sarah is passionate in spreading awareness on topics such as slut shaming, mental health, sexual assault, lgbtq+ rights, and body image struggles. She hopes to keep fighting for the justice issues that are important to her and continue to strive for change.