A Guy's Guide to Body Image
People might think guys don't worry about their looks. Guys may not talk about their bodies as much as girls do. But they spend plenty of time in front of the mirror. And for some guys, body image can be a problem.
What Is Body Image?
Body image is the way you think and feel about your body and looks. How you feel about your body affects how you feel about yourself. Many people feel unhappy with some part of their looks. But if you get too focused on what you don't like, it can bring down your self-esteem.
People with a good body image:
- feel OK about the way they look
- accept their body as it is
- feel good about what their body can do
- take good care of their body
You don't need a perfect body to have a good body image. You just need to accept the body you have. Focus more on what you like than what you don't. Take good care of your body. Doing these things will help you feel good about your body. And about yourself.
Can Puberty Affect Body Image?
Your body changes a lot during puberty. How you feel about your body might change too. It can take time to feel at ease in a body you're not used to.
And not everyone goes through puberty at the same time. It can feel awkward if you're the first one whose voice is changing or who's growing body hair. It can be tough if you're one of the last to change too. But as you get used to it, you can feel good about your more mature body.
How Can I Have a Better Body Image?
Want to feel better about your body? Here are some ideas:
- Find things to like about your looks. Focus on what you do like more than what you don’t.
- Focus on what your body can do. Can you run, walk, swim, ride a bike? Hit a baseball, throw a football, kick a soccer ball, sink a basket? Can you climb, hike, dance? Can you draw, paint, play a musical instrument? Your body is more than looks.
- Be aware of your body. When you stretch, reach, go up and down the steps, tie your shoes — that’s your body in action. It’s easy to take it for granted. Try not to.
- Be active every day. Your body needs to move to be healthy and fit. Have fun. Let yourself feel glad about what your body can do.
- Do some strength training. Being in shape can help you look good and feel good. But it doesn’t just happen. You have to train and eat a healthy diet. Start with 20–30 minutes 3 days a week. Look to a coach or trainer to give you tips. A good workout boosts your mood too.
- Treat your body right. To feel good about your body, take care of it. Don’t smoke or do other things you know are harmful. Eat good foods. Get enough sleep. Keep your body clean. Shower regularly. Take care of your teeth, hair, and skin. Wear clean clothes. When you treat yourself well, you’ll have a healthier, stronger body — and a better body image.
- Be yourself. Your body is just one part of who you are. Focus on things about the person you are too. Are you honest, kind, a good friend? Good in math, science, or writing? Outdoor guy? Animal lover? A reader, artist, musician? There’s lots that’s good about you.
- Do things to help. Use your body’s strength, skill, or energy to help others. Did you know your body image can get a boost when you (gladly) do a chore that helps out? So, paint your little sister’s room, rake leaves for a neighbor, clean up the dishes, or carry out the trash. It feels good to help.