Surface-level image of an orange, an apple, and a plum on a wood-paneled floor.
Seven tips for when you just don’t love your body.
What Do I Do If I Don’t Like My Body?
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and not liked what you saw there, you’re not alone. Our culture tends to teach us to see “people as bodies (or objects) first and people second, which leads us to judge and value people by how they look,” wrote Lexie Kite, PhD, and Lindsay Kite, PhD. “This leads to negative body image because we are taught that our bodies are the most important things about us and that we need to ‘fix our flaws’ in order to be happy” (“More Than a Body: Seeing As God Sees,” New Era, Aug. 2019).
Youth all over the world struggle to love their bodies, and they have some tips to share with you! So what do you do if you don’t like your body? Here are seven ideas!
1. Accept your body.
“Accept your body for what it is instead of what it’s not. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I say, ‘Heavenly Father, I’m grateful with the progress You’re making with me.’”
–Temperance B., 18, Victoria, Australia
2. Think about it as a temple.
“When you sing ‘I Am a Child of God,’ think of His gift to you of your own physical body. The many amazing attributes of your body attest to your own ‘divine nature’ (2 Peter 1:4). . . . A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames.” —President Russell M. Nelson, “Your Body: A Magnificent Gift to Cherish,” New Era, Aug. 2019, 4–5.
3. Take care of it.
“I take care of my body by exercising and eating healthy. Taking care of my body makes me more grateful for it. When I take care of the temple that Heavenly Father has blessed me with, my mood shifts, and I better recognize and appreciate the wonderful blessing of having a body created by God.”
–Camille A., 16, Florida, USA
4. Remember you are loved.
“My friend struggled because he worried about what others think of him, and he lost his self-respect. What helped him the most was remembering that God, his friends, and his family were all there to love and support him.”
–Matthew V., 16, Missouri, USA
5. Think about how Heavenly Father sees you.
When I hear my friends say that they don’t like something about their body or that they hate it, I like to help them know that Heavenly Father loves them. I like to think that He loves me and that He wants me to be happy, no matter my physical questions. We should take care of and love our body because it is our temple.”
–Ignacio P., 14, Argentina
6. Remember it doesn’t define you.
“Remember that your body doesn’t define you. It’s your body but not you as a person, as a spirit child of God.” –Sailor O., 18, New York, USA
7. Do things you enjoy.
“Being outside and doing activities I enjoy, like riding my bike or walking my dog, always help me feel good about my body. It’s even better when I do these things with my friends, because it reminds me that I am surrounded by people who care about me and who don’t care about what I look like.”
–Itzcel O., 18, Arizona, USA
What tips do you have for learning to like your body? Share your experience below.