Often one part of having a relationship is being sexually intimate with a partner – sometimes this involves nudity. It can be tricky, embarrassing and awkward when you first start getting naked in front of someone. However, if you are in a healthy relationship, your partner should make you feel confident and comfortable about getting nude.
As a young adult, it's common to worry about how your body looks. But remember, noone judges you more harshly than you judge yourself
An emphasis on appearance is at an all-time high in this culture, and with it comes the potential for a significant increase in negative body image. According to the experts, “There’s often a vicious circle here: "the more a person focuses on his body, the worse he tends to feel about how he looks – obsession breeds discontent.” Poor body image increases the risk for extreme weight/body control behaviours. Experts have found that increased preoccupation with appearance and body dissatisfaction put people at greater risk for engaging in dangerous practices to control weight and size. Extreme dieting, exercise compulsion, laxative abuse, vomiting, smoking and use of anabolic steroids have all been associated with negative body image.
There is a lot of information out there about how your body should look. This is seen on TV, in the movies, in magazines, and on the internet. Our tweens and early teens are a time when we become more aware of celebrities and media images - as well as how other kids look and how we fit in. We might start to compare ourselves with other people or media images (“ideals” that are frequently airbrushed). All of this can affect how we feel about ourselves and our bodies even as we get older. Family life can sometimes influence our body image too. Some parents or coaches might be too focused on looking a certain way or “making weight” for a sports team. Family members might struggle with their own body image or criticize their kids’ looks (“why do you wear your hair so long?” or “how come you can’t wear pants that fit you?”). This can all influence a person’s self-esteem, especially if they’re sensitive to others peoples’ comments. People also may experience negative comments and hurtful teasing about the way they look from classmates and peers. Although these often come from ignorance, sometimes they can affect body image and self-esteem. But it's important to balance all of these images with what you see in your every day life – your family and friends, people at school, work, down the street, at the local shops...
The reality is that people come in all shapes and sizes and EVERYONE is beautiful!
Body image is your attitude towards your body – how you see yourself, how you think and feel about the way you look and how you think others perceive you. Your body image can be influenced by your own beliefs and attitudes as well as those of society, the media and peer groups. There is no right or wrong when it comes to body shape or appearance. Everybody is different in body size and shape and appearance and we can celebrate this diversity and individuality.
It's important for you to feel confident, comfortable and happy in your body. If you have a positive image of yourself then it is less likely you will allow other people to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself. If you are with someone who makes you feel ugly, worthless or unattractive then you are in an unhealthy relationship – it is common for people in unhealthy relationships to talk badly to each other.
We have a positive body image when we have a realistic perception of our bodies AND we enjoy them just as they are.
Positive body image involves understanding that healthy attractive bodies come in many shapes and sizes, and that physical appearance says very little about our character or value as aperson. Healthy body image means that our assessment of our bodies is kept separate from our sense of self-esteem, and it ensures that we don’t spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight and calories. A healthy body image is being comfortable in your own skin, being happy (most of the time) with the way you look, and feeling good with yourself. It’s about valuing who you are not what you look like.
Doing activities you enjoy can help boost you self-esteem nd make you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Activites that are relaxing, soothing, spiritual, or that allow us to connect to others, are particularly helpful.
Change the way you think about your body. Think of as the vehicle to your dreams. Honour it. Respect it. Fuel it. Be your body's friend, not it's enemy.
Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
Walk with confidence! Hold your head held high! Even if you have to fake it till you make it.
Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good on your body.
Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
Every evening when you go to bed, do a scan of your body and thank it (e.g. "Thank you feet for holding me up all day and allowing me to walk to... (xyz) today. Thank you mouth for allowing me to smile at others and speak my truth"
Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good. Exercise for the Three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship.
Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself - without mentioning your appearance, such as your ability to make people laugh, your loyality, your kindness, etc. Keep this list handy and read it to yourself when you're feeling down. Keep adding to it!
Put a positive note on your mirror, for example, “I am beautiful inside and out.”
Give your body what it needs - eat when you are hungry, rest when you are tired, exercise to relieve stress. Don't deprive yourself.
Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.
Remember - life is too short. Enjoy it!
Check out the videos below! Every body is different and every body is beautiful.
To minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, other blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. To reduce social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention services.
WA AIDS Council would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of this country throughout Australia, and their strength, resilience and connection to land and community. In particular, the WA AIDS Council would like to acknowledge the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Nation as the traditional custodians of the land in which our office is located.