The OpinionPanel Community is more than just a research panel; it's a platform for young people to express themselves, share their thoughts and experiences with peers, learn from thought-leadership articles and hear alternative views on topical subjects.
In our regular guest blog we share some of our panellists' stories. Today's blog is written by panel member, Nadia Kusi-Appiah, who talks all about body positivity and provides her top tips on how to be comfortable in your own skin.
Read Nadia's article below and gain a perspective into how Gen Z feel about body image...
Body Positivity: Tips on being comfortable in your own skin
By OpinionPanel Member Nadia Kusi-Appiah
"Beauty is being comfortable and confident in your own skin." This quote by Iman is going to be the centre of this read. Growing up especially when I got into secondary school I started to see my body in a different light. I questioned different parts of my body for looking the way they did then.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m not far away from how I perceived myself. In today’s world of being unapologetically real, “The social media era”, you cannot help but notice the preference of others and the ‘ideal’ body-type. It is almost as if it is forced down our throats because this so-called body type massively outweighs what real bodies look like on online social platforms. It hasn’t been until recently that certain brands started to diversify and promote the reality of bodies but in saying so, there is still a lot of work to be done. Our bodies do so much for us, and we rarely get to appreciate them. Sometimes we take our bodies for granted.
Recently, a youtuber named Miss RFabulous spoke out on her Instagram about how she has experienced so many complications and intense pain after undergoing quite a number of surgeries to enhance her body after many failed surgical procedures. I appreciated her confidence and thoughtfulness to come out to let people know about the reality and risks involved in body enhancement procedures and her advice to not let our insecurities lead us to change the way we were made.
It is easy to say we should learn to accept the way we look. I generally feel like giving advice that has personally worked for myself and others is a start in pointing others in the right direction.
Here are some tips and practices you can incorporate in your daily lives:
Surround yourself with people who accept you, encourage you and bring positivity into your life.
I particularly learnt the importance of this during the quarantine period. Some people prefer to call it “a good vibe” and I think it’s a good phrase as it gives high spirited attitudes. Some form of buzz or energy. In all honesty, when you have people you can fully express yourself to and talk about your struggles without feeling judged, it raises your confidence level exceptionally.
This may sound very cliché but I fully believe in speaking good things over yourself. You can add it to your daily routine, and it can go a long way to help brighten your mood. Self-affirmations work for many things and so I can speak highly of it. This is most definitely out of line of the topic, but I noticed that whenever I spoke confidently and positively about my performance before a driving lesson, those lessons seemingly went very smoothly. Just remember to compliment yourself. If taking pictures boosts your confidence, then do so. Just always remember to be kind to yourself because you are more than enough.
Take a break from social media.
If you think it is a major contribution to making you feel lower about yourself, take a break. If you have to unfollow certain accounts, then do so. There is no point in feeding yourself with information or pictures which could possibly be a lie. Many of us fail to see that we are not physically present in any of the lives of these Instagram model’s lives and therefore don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.
We are made differently and that is the beauty of the human race. Like flowers have different species and different colours, we are not all made to look the same. There is beauty in being different and if you feel there are things you would like to do, stop holding yourself back, before it is too late. Who you are is massively about what you do and not how you look. It doesn't really matter what end of the spectrum you are at, because being different means you are brave enough to be yourself.
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