I'm a 16 year old girl and I've been feeling really down lately about my body.
I look around at all the girls at my school and they seem to have the perfect bodies.
I've tried to lose weight and change my appearance, but nothing seems to work.
I feel like I'll never be good enough and it's affecting my self-esteem.
Can you give me some advice?
Dear Feeling Insecure,
First you are not alone and everyone runs into problems when we compare ourselves to those around us.
Remember this quote by President Theodore Roosevelt "Comparison is the thief of joy".
Write this down somewhere you will see it every day as a reminder.
Secondly, as a therapist, I want to acknowledge how difficult it can be to love and accept your body when society has such high standards of beauty.
It's important to remember that everyone's bodies are different and unique, and that there is no such thing as a "perfect" body.
I would suggest engaging in self-care activities that boost your confidence and help you feel good about yourself, such as exercise, self-reflection, and practicing positive self-talk.
Also, surround yourself with supportive people who uplift and accept you for who you are.
Try to focus on the things you like about yourself, such as your personality and interests, rather than just your appearance. (This is not sweeping the problem under a rug, instead it gives you permission to let go of the negative thoughts and eventually you'll be able to find your confidence once the rest of your thoughts are positive.)
Remember, your worth is not determined by your appearance and you are deserving of love and acceptance just as you are.