Self-Conscious Shopper

I have very low self-esteem. I never want to go shopping because I know that clothes will look bad on me. 

I feel self-conscious because I have a disability. Every time I go anywhere my mind races with thoughts that people are just staring at my legs because of my disability. What can I do to get rid of these negative thoughts?

Aw, babe, that's totally tough. When you’re living with a physical disability, it may feel like everyone in the world is staring at you. It’s enough to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I know it's hard but remember that no one's perfect...lots of people have problems and disabilities.  How you deal with it will make all the difference.

It’s normal to feel self-conscious when shopping for clothes; it doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not. Every teen girl feels a li'l uncomfy with her body when she goes into that dressing room and sees every imperfection staring back at her, mirrored at every angle (I know I have!). But going about your business and not stressing over what other people are thinking shows you’re strong. Next time you blatantly catch someone staring at you, kindly say, “Hi, may I help you?” Chances are, they’ll feel totally embarrassed and look away.

When you’re shopping, feel free to bring along a support group of peeps who make you feel 100% comfortable. Invite your BFF who makes you laugh or your mom who always gives you great advice on your next shopping expedition. When you’re having a good time, you’re less likely to notice people staring. It also helps to have a friend or older sis who can distract you from the stares or simply tell other people to mind their own beeswax!

It’s important not to let the stares get the best of you. Think positive thoughts. Make a list of all the things that make you awesome, such as your pretty eyes, killer smile, witty sense of humor, amazing taste in clothing, etc. What makes you YOU is what's on the inside!

Most importantly, don’t let your disability define you. Focus on your talents. If you love art, then paint. If you can’t live without writing, then start a journal. If you focus more time and attention on the things you feel passionate about and make you feel positive, you’ll feel better about yourself and really rev up your self esteem. And don’t forget, you’re super fab just the way you are!

Lots of love,

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4/13/2009 7:00:00 AM