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Secrets to Killer Body Image

 

Ever wonder why some girls seem to have all the confidence? Us, too. We asked real Girls’ Life readers to reveal their wisdom!

Confidence rules.
Confidence comes from not worrying about things you can’t control. While you can choose to be active and healthy, genetics play the biggest role in how your body looks. And since life doesn’t come with a reset button, why not focus your energy on the things you like about yourself?

I have a growth deficiency—I’m really short and flat-chested for an almost 13-year-old. But for the most part, I am OK with it. There is the odd day when I think it stinks, but then I forget about it and just go have fun with friends, read a good book, go on the computer, whatever. It really bums me out when my friends complain about their bodies. We should all realize we’re goddesses in our own way! —Rachel C., 13

You can have an awesome bod no matter what! All you need is a big dose of confidence, confidence, confidence. I definitely DO NOT have the perfect body. I’m in eighth grade and, last year, I was down on myself because I’m totally flat. On the other hand, I can eat as much as I want and not gain weight. All you have to do is find something you like about yourself and then make the most out of it. —Megan L., 14

Envy is a waste of time.
You know that saying about the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence? Same is true for bodies—flat girls want 34Cs, short girls want to be tall, blah, blah, blah. So the next time you look in the mirror and are about to slam yourself, remember there are plenty of girls who see your “flaw” as an asset! Works for Beyonce! 

Sometimes when I shop for pants or skirts, I don’t feel so hot about myself. I usually wear one size up from most of my friends. I try not to feel so self-conscious because I know I’m a lot taller than most girls. I also remind myself that as long as I’m healthy, it doesn’t matter what size I am. —Jen T., 13

Here’s a lesson I learned from some girls in my class: I was really jealous of them, but then I found out they were also jealous of me. You may not be a super model, but remember that everyone has at least one great body feature. Hey, girls might even be jealous of you! —Jackie G., 11

Friends and family like you for who you are, not your size.
It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Would you stop loving your sister or BFF if she weighed 10 pounds more? We didn’t think so. The sad thing is many girls get bummed about themselves when their bodies go through natural changes. So next time you start to criticize yourself, think, “Hey, lots of people love me just the way I am.”

I’m not perfect but, when I look in the mirror, I think, “I’m looking pretty good today.” I don’t worry too much about my appearance. My friends are my friends, and they like me because of my personality—not my body! Whether you’re big, small, short, tall or whatever, don’t get upset with yourself about your size. If you have friends who like you for you—that’s all you need.
—Alina N., 12

Body confidence comes from my friends being supportive. My friends never say mean things about my appearance. If they did, they wouldn’t be true friends.
—Laura R., 14

I believe my friends when they tell me they wish they looked more like me. I am also not afraid to give myself compliments! And I pay quite a few to my friends, too.
—Catherine E., 11

Harness the power of positive thinking.
Having a healthy bod is only half the battle. You also need a healthy mindset. Vow to banish negative thoughts the second they pop into your head just like America Ferrera does. Instead of looking for things to hate, why not choose some things you love? Even if it’s just that you have cute ears or nice toes. Everyone has at least one great feature. Be proud of it!

It’s not like I don’t have my insecurities. So I’ve come up with three rules to help me feel totally in control and love myself. One, never leave the house with a negative attitude. In my experience, a negative attitude gets you nowhere. If you have a negative attitude, you will almost definitely have a bad day. Two, to quote my favorite song: “Ignore the insults; remember the compliments.” And three, find five things you love about yourself—and remember them when you’re feeling down. It works for me. —Jaclyn D., 12

Think like a guy.
OK, OK, we know more and more guys are worrying about how their bodies look. But honestly, how many guys do you know who spend half the day complaining about how fat their thighs are? Not many, we hope. The bottom line is that guys just don’t openly obsess about this stuff. They have better things to do—and so do you.

I think I have a great body image because I listen to stuff like Korn, Godsmack, Bauhaus and System of a Down. I choose to follow these bands instead of Britney Spears and all those skinny girl singers who wear tiny tops to show off their bodies. If I worshiped them, I bet I’d feel pressure to be thinner. I don’t worry too much about beautiful celebrities. I’m more of a tomboy—I like to play sports, skateboard and listen to music guys like. As a result, I don’t pay attention to many female idols who could influence me to want to change my body. I know it’s not the answer for most girls, but that’s my secret. —Andrea B., 13

POSTED ON 12/16/2009 7:00:00 AM

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