By Dr. Charlotte Markey

Does anyone truly like their body?

It’s easy to look on your social media accounts, at advertisements, or talk with friends and feel like everyone is trying to “fix” something about themselves.  I’m here to tell you that there is a better way to appreciate your body.  You don’t need to “fix” anything to feel good about yourself.  In fact, focusing on accepting yourself as you are is much healthier!

Here are a few tips to help you nurture an appreciation of your body:


~Stare at yourself in the mirror and pick apart what you don’t like.

When you become a teenager, your body changes and you change, becoming more aware of fashion and appearance trends around you.  Both of these changes may lead you to spend more time looking at yourself and evaluating your appearance.  Be careful that you consider yourself with kindness and don’t focus in on what you wish you could change. (And, everyone has parts of themselves they’d like to change, but these features are also often what make us unique and special.)

~Use appearance-focused social media.

It may be hard to avoid social media and you may make valuable connections with others on social media.  However, tutorials that focus on your appearance (like make-up tutorials) and influencers that claim to offer “fitspiration” are rarely a boost to body image.  Be thoughtful about how you use social media and unfollow accounts that bring you down.

~Engage in “fat talk.”

Research suggests it is bad for your body image to spend time talking with friends and family about what you don’t like about your body (sometimes called “fat talk” by body image scientists).  Try to change the topic to be more positive or avoid these conversations. Talk about activities you are doing and not about how you are looking.


~Move your body.

Physical activity is beneficial for your physical and psychological health, but it is important that you pursue activity for the right reasons. Be careful not to push yourself too much and participate in activities that you enjoy.

~Nourish your body.

Food is the fuel your body runs on.  Making nutritious and varied choices is important, but it is also really important that you enjoy what you eat and avoid “food fads,” like eliminating entire food groups from your diet. All foods provide some fuel—from kale to cookies– and can be a lot of fun, too!

~Be grateful for all your body does for you.

Your body is really amazing and it allows you to experience the world.  How your body looks is probably one of the least interesting and least important things about it.  Try to spend some time each day thinking about what your body does.  You learn, move, and form relationships with others all because of your body.

You will be living in your body for a very long time.  It’s important that you think of your body as a good friend and take good care of it!


Dr. Charlotte Markey. Psychologist, professor and scientist, Dr. Markey has been a leading body image expert for more than two decades. Now, Dr. Markey applies her academic research, her findings after interviewing hundreds of girls, and her practical experience as mother of a teen to a new, evidence-based yet easy-to-read book for girls ages 9yrs -15yrs. THE BODY IMAGE BOOK FOR GIRLS: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless