August 21, 2019
If you don’t love your appearance, you are not alone. 
How To Become Body Confident, From These Ordinary Women Whove Done It
Almost a quarter of women aren’t comfortable in their skin, according to a new study of 2,000 women, and a third have cancelled social plans because of a body-confidence crisis. 
The research was commissioned by Gillette Venus – a company that (until recently) predominately hired slim, white and hairless women to advertise its products. And while we might raise an eyebrow about a beauty brand jumping on the body-confidence revolution, the research did get us thinking.
If one in four women are not body-confident, that means a wonderful three in four are. So, we asked these women to reveal how they learned to love their bodies and their advice for others.
The sisterhood well and truly pulled through. Almost 100 women replied on Twitter to share their tips, and here are just a few of the suggestions:  1. Embrace new outfits, from backless wedding dresses to shorts. I was so nervous about getting married in a backless dress & no bra at a size 14 - 'what about back fat', 'saggy boobs' etc. Looking back it was ridiculous as in the end I was so happy. I've learned to embrace it, when you bring yourself down-you bring the ones you love down too.— Emmie Harrison-West (@emmieehw) August 21, 2019I stopped dressing for my “body type” and just got clothes that I liked. I know it sounds vain, but sometimes pretty clothes just make you feel pretty— Megan Hutchinson (@MooLoves) August 21, 2019One of the biggest surprises of my mid/late 30s has been how much more body ok I feel. Perhaps it's age but I also credit Australia where the weather meant I went bare-legged most of year. And swimming – the more time I spend in a bikini, the less I care what I look like in it 🤷🏻‍♀️— Nancy Groves (@nancyarts) August 21, 20192. Focus on what your body can do, rather than what it looks like:When I started focusing on what my body could do, not what it looks like, through martial arts initially and then yoga, climbing, running (and making conscious effort in these activities to compare myself only to my previous self)— Lizzie Darville (@ledarville) August 21, 2019It took a long time, and got worse before it got better, but my disability has definitely made me more body confident, surgical scars and all; I'm now grateful for what it can do, rather than worrying about what it can't do or how it looks.— Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, Esq. (@HannahPopsy) August 21, 2019For me it wasn’t until after I gave birth to my daughter 2yo. I struggled for years about so many insecurities that, since having her, now pale into insignificance. I am so proud of my body for bringing her into the world that it’s made me feel the sexiest I could ever feel.— Lauren Howard (@LozMintster) August 21, 2019 3. Surround yourself with the right people, from cool older ladies to pro-wrestlers. I went to adult improver swimming classes a few years ago. I befriended a brilliant 70+ woman who would not bat an eyelid at getting her splendid grey muff out whilst changing whilst 30 something me hid behind a towel. I quickly ditched the towel. Hang out with more older women!— Clare Nightingale 🧜‍♀️ (@drasticsturgeon) August 21, 2019Going to pro-wrestling classes, particularly women-only ones with Eve Academy: all shapes, sizes and ages doing something super challenging, out of our comfort zones, and really quite mad. I'm constantly covered in bruises 😂 & much happier for it. Happy to explain more!— Sarah Elizabeth Cox (@spookyjulie) August 21, 2019I started doing stand up and got help for my OCD. My piece of advice: check that you’re surrounding yourself with the right people who truly want to see you shine x— Jessica Aszkenasy (@_goblinjess) August 21, 2019 4. Learn that we’re all built differently – and  celebrate that difference.Dressmaking - for myself and others. Seeing how different women's bodies are made me realise why off-the-peg clothes rarely fit perfectly. I used to think the problem was ME for being too big here, too small there, etc. Bollocks to that! 💪— Holly Winter Stevens (@HollyWinter) August 21, 2019It took me a long time to get there. I went from a size 10 to 12-14 after marriage and people starting calling me fat. It was so silly I lost my confidence. The only way I got over it was realising that my body is mine and was shaped with curves for a reason. My hubby loves them.— soma (@sgcareers27) August 21, 2019 5. Find a way to stop comparing yourself to others.  Ageing (weirdly) helped. Finally really accepting that comparison is the thief of joy and appreciating what my body does rather than what it looks like. I still have my moments but quelling that awful criticising voice has become easier.— Lyanne Nicholl (@ThatLyanne) August 21, 2019Have always been fairly confident, but everyone has their moments of doubt. It was an age thing. I hit my late 20s and realised that the only person who needs to accept me is me. One piece of advice: don't compare yourself to others, it's a pointless practice that won't help you.— Almara Abgarian (@almaraabgarian) August 21, 2019 6. Shake off toxic lessons learned from “diet culture”.  It was a long journey that involved recovering from anorexia, unlearning embedded diet culture rules + realising that my worth is not tied to my body. My advice? Expand your horizons, especially on social media. Find inspirational accounts + read up on HAES + intuitive eating ❤️— Kat Nicholls (@BlueJayBlog) August 21, 2019it's so important that women are careful in talk about food/diets. It's so common to hear "I'll have to have a salad for dinner", "I can't believe I ate all that", "I've been naughty!" etc etc. It creates a really toxic environmental around food & guilt & body issues— Zoë McKendree (@ZoeMcKendree) August 21, 2019I've stopped vocalising any negative/toxic stuff about food I feel and shut down when my friends talk about food like this. It makes us all feel shitty and creates such pressure to eat to be thin, we can all do better.— Zoë McKendree (@ZoeMcKendree) August 21, 20197. Be patient with yourself if body confidence doesn’t come right away. I think the biggest misconception is that’s it’s a quick, easy switch. It isn’t. Especially if you’ve struggled with EDs over the years. It takes a lot of work- curiosity in yourself and you behaviours from a forgiving place. Acceptance that it’s not a linear journey.— Lizzy Dening (@LizzyDening) August 21, 2019READ MORE: This 19ft Vagina Blimp Won't Be Flying Over Edinburgh Fringe's Royal Mile – Here's Why Jameela Jamil Embraces Her ‘Back Fat’ In Latest Photo – And Inspires Others To Do The Same I Stopped Wearing 'The Zara Dress' After Being Shamed
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