10 Ways To Improve Your Body Image
And Feel Better About Your Body

by Cheryl Rainfield, the award-winning author of SCARS, STAINED, and HUNTED, 2013

1) Develop Media Awareness. Look critically at ads, TV and movies. The models/actors you see have makeup artists and stylists, are on very restrictive diets, and are photoshopped to look flawless. Remember that ads try to promote and target feelings of insecurity and fear. Watch the “Dove evolution” video to see the transformation of a normal-looking model into what she becomes for an ad. Remember that the images you see in ads are not real.

2) Accept your body as it is. So many women and girls obsess about becoming or staying thin, but this is forced on us by society. It doesn’t make us healthy or happy. Think about what makes you happy on a deep, lasting level. Being who you really are, surrounding yourself with loving friends, following your heart, seeing and appreciating your strengths.

3) Appreciate your body and thank it for what it does for you—things that aren’t about your weight or how you look. Does your body allow you to do things that bring you joy? Notice that!

4) Choose to love your body. It is a conscious choice. Fight back against the bombardment of negative messages in the media, let go of the hurtful things people have said. Find something you love about your body and focus on that, then work on loving your entire body.

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5) Try to see your body the way someone who loves you sees it. Remember the good things they’ve said, the way their eyes smile when they see you. You ARE beautiful.

6) Stop comparing yourself to models, actors, or anyone else. Every person’s body is unique. Love yours.

7) See your soul-beauty. What really makes a person beautiful? I think it’s how you are on a soul level: whether you have kindness and compassion; how you relate to others; what you put into this world. The people I dearly love and want to be around are soul-beautiful.

8) Give your body positive self-talk. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re beautiful—even if you don’t believe it yet. Notice something you like or that other people have mentioned and appreciate that out loud. How we think and talk about ourselves affects us.

9) Wear clothes that make you feel good. And be willing to change as you change.

10) Pamper your body in whatever way feels good to you. Lovely smelling body cream or bubble baths, natural soaps, resting when you’re tired, getting a massage. Take gentle care of your body and you will feel better.

Helpful Links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/girls-and-body-image-tips
http://loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org/presentations/SexStereotypesBeauty/index.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_russell_looks_aren_t_everything_believe_me_i_m_a_model.html
http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/beautyand-beast-advertising

©Cheryl Rainfield, the award-winning author of SCARS, STAINED, and HUNTED, 2013

In STAINED Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body images issues, thinks she knows what fear is—until she’s abducted. Now she must find a way to rescue herself.

If you like this article, you may post it on your website or use it in your print publication, as long as you provide a link back to my site (http://www.CherylRainfield.com), and credit me. I’d also really like to know where you put my article, but you don’t have to let me know in order to use it.

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