Body image

The way to be happy is to learn to appreciate our bodies and to feel comfortable with who we are.

It's easy to think we can be happy if we stay skinny with curves in all the right places.

WRONG!

The way to be happy is to learn to appreciate our bodies and to feel comfortable with who we are.

 

I want a perfect body - what's wrong with that?

It's not fair expecting your body to match up to some supermodel ideal while it's still growing.

During our teens, it's perfectly normal to grow out a bit then up a bit for a while.

What's a normal body?

Even when fully-grown, very few of us end up shaped like catwalk clotheshorses - 'normal' is quite a bit heftier!

In fact, there's a lot of pressure now on fashion shows and photo shoots to stop using super skinny 'size zero' models. Being too thin can cause health problems too.

Being fat free is healthiest, right?

In fact, we need some body fat to stay healthy. It helps protect our organs and helps the body  fight off infections. The body also needs fat reserves to use in case we get sick and can't eat right for a while.

People who are too thin are much more likely to come down with colds and other common bugs and take longer to recover.

Carrying too much weight around our middles is bad for health in the long term but being too thin could affect your health right now.

What is a 'healthy weight'?

Whatever age we are, it's important to know we're a healthy weight.

How? Easy - weigh yourself, measure your height and put these details together with your age into the NHS Choices special Healthy Weight Calculator (external site)

NOTE: Don't use healthy weight or 'BMI' calculators designed for adults - they don't work properly for young people and give misleading results. The calculator linked above works for everybody, no matter how old.

Mirrors don't lie, do they?

Ignore what the bathroom mirror tells you. For starters, who's going to see you under the glare of the bathroom light, exactly side on?

How we look to others has much more to do with how we feel about ourselves, how we move and how we dress.

Is there a secret to fabulousness?

People who are relaxed with themselves always appear more attractive.

Learn to be happy with yourself the way you are and the self esteem and confidence it gives you will show.

Learn more about building confidence.

Which diet is best?

Dieting, unless your doctor tells you to, is a bad idea for young people. Your body will still be building itself for years to come and needs properly fed.

If you do want to tone up a bit:

Thin = loveable?

Don't be fooled into thinking the 'perfect' body will get you the perfect love life.

Not convinced?

Log onto any celeb gossip site and see all the gorgeous people that get caught in relationship 'shockers'.

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