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I remember from as young as five years old staring into the mirror, and struggling with my self-image. I would wish with all my might that who was looking back at me would change my outward appearance.

I always believed I was a nice person, and a good friend, but right from the beginning when I looked in the mirror, all I saw were flaws. Already at that age, I knew, or rather, had the though that pretty girls had long hair, curls were a bonus point, beautiful eyes, most likely blue, thick eyelashes, and they were thin/small.

Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Paynter

And guess what? I had none of these. As soon as I went to kindergarten my relationship with my body was doomed. I already knew to compare myself to every other little girl. I wish I could go back and love myself a little harder, or find words to be able to open up and talk about my feelings.

Sadly, I can`t even tell you that over the years how I saw my body improved. It`s still a struggle, even now at 30.

How did I know at that age to hate my body, and to want to look different? How does a young child pick up what flaws they believe they have? Is it something that we, as a society can change?

I had a wonderful home, and had every opportunity to open up about my feelings, but for some reason I remember feeling like there were so many other important things going on. I never valued my feelings, my thoughts, or anything. I saw myself as an imposition to everyone.

I think, because of this, I tended to be a people pleaser. I never wanted anyone to feel what I felt. I would do just about anything to fit into what the norm was and make others happy.

Now, I wonder, is loving yourself something you need to be taught as a child, or if a child typically just does, and I was the odd one. I ponder this, not to blame, or critisize, but rather to try to understand so I can help and save my own children.

A flaw is somewhat of an imperfection. Something that I believe children should not be feeling about their bodies. I think children, myself included, picked/pick up society and their environments values towards outward appearances.

My entire life I have spent believing that every other person is far more worthy and deserving of everything than I. How is it possible that a small child has the ability to decide their worth? How is it that that is even a thought for them?

I`m dedicated to loving myself and all my flaws.

As well as learn to create and maintain a body positive mindset, space, aura and energy so I can help my children, and every person in my life know they they are not defined by their bodies, the number on the scale, or any other piece of themselves them deem to be a flaw.

If you are not familiar with The Body Positive Movement, here is a brief rundown. It is simply the idea, and truth, that all people deserve to have a positive body image regardless of how society or popular cultures current views on shape, size, and appearance.

I never want my children, or anyone, to feel anything less than extra-ordinary, and the world is not designed to support that. The body positive movement is a spark of hope to crush was society believes bodies should look like.

I`m slowly learning to embrace my flaws.

Though, this is quite a struggle. I constantly remind myself that I am beautiful just the way that I am. I remind myself to not think or speak hurtful things about my body. I use daily affirmations. I do anything I can to help myself learn, and understand, that everything about me, is also beautiful. Just like every other human being.

I`m in love with Lyndsey`s art, and honored to have had the opportunity to collaborate. I 100% agree with Lyndsey`s thoughts on body positivity, which are body positivity is about appreciating what your own body does for you everyday. Carrying you places, hugging the ones you love, and experiencing the world around you. Its the most constant thing we have and we need to come an acceptance and true love for it.

Our body is our home. We need to treat it well, at the same time as teaching young children too.

Lyndsey has created an incredible body positive piece of art that I am completely in love with!

Click the photo to take you to visit in her shop and support an incredibly talented artist who is spreading the same body positive message!

Sending so much love to every single one of you, N


43 thoughts on “A Young Person and Negative Self-Image

  1. I really felt that when you mentioned wanting to be a people pleaser and conform with the “norm” rather than embracing flaws. When I was younger I felt much more confident about who I was, but as I entered college I felt like I didn’t fit in and that I needed to change or suppress who I was to fit in.

    It is so important that we remind children and young adults to love themselves for who they are! Our uniqueness makes us ~us~.

  2. I LOVE this post. Such gorgeous, lovely writing and super important topic to raise awareness of x

  3. I struggled with my body when I was younger, as I have gotten older especially now I have learned to love myself and even more recently I have sort of taken the stance this is me whether you like me or not. I am trying my hardest not to change who I am or my feelings about my body because of other peoples opinions. It is hard but I think I am slowly making progress.

  4. Such a lovely post, I love your writing so much! ? it definately feels raw, like friends just chatting their feelings on things, with no censure – and im so here for that!!

    Society has lots to do with how we perceive our body, ithink… I somehow never truly minded my own body. Maybe I got lucky on that side; sure there’s things On my body that I don’t like much compared to others, but erh- whatever.
    However; what I have problems with is inside me.. I had always been made fun at for being wierd – and the compliments or thoughts on my personality just seems so fake to me… I mean, sure I must be a good person, but surely others do it better, i don’t know.

    1. Thank you so much!!!

      I love the way you see your body!! Me too I’ve been made fun of for my personality. Personally….I think we are awesome. ??

  5. My daughter is 21, and has had body issues since she was little as well. I tell her all the time she is beautiful, because she really is, but she finds reasons to hate what she sees. I hope she grows to love and accept what she sees in the mirror and see what everyone else sees.
    Thank you for this post.

  6. I completely agree with all of this. I feel like I am in such a negative place in my head with my own body image that I can find it hard to be positive in front of my children.

    But I do fully understand the importance of remaining positive in front of them. They need to be taught how important it is to be healthy but to accept themselves.
    We can’t have another generation who are so driven by beauty standards.

    Thank you for sharing


  7. It is important that we are body positive about ourselves. Love starts from within. At the end of the day, no one is really perfect. Perfect is just a concept, there’s no real rule defining it. Love what you said!! Totally agree with you!

    Nancy ♥

  8. Definitely agree we should be taught body confidence at a younger age because I think if I was taught to love my body when I was younger instead of being embarrassed by it, I would definitely appreciate my body more now. Great post ?

  9. really loved reading this post. theres days when i feel like im killing it, but others are still a major strugle. ive found finding a style i like clothe wise has helped me a lot, rather than hiding in the same drab items. but still it is a journey + it self love needs to be encouraged from a younger age, especially w social media

  10. Body confidence is literally only something that I’ve found now that I’m getting older, as I care less about standards and more about my own health and happiness. Thankyou for sharing this x

  11. I totally agree with this post. I’m still dealing with issues from childhood. I didn’t think much of myself then so I got into the practice of trying to be well liked. That turned into being constantly taken advantage of, and after 3 therapy sessions through the years I’m kind of okay. However, it all started from poor self image during childhood. Despite me having a great family as well.

    1. Wow. I’m so sorry that you experienced this as well. Thank you for sharing it with me. I’m so glad that you have gone through some therapy sessions and are in a better place. Sending you so much love. Always here is you need to talk.?

  12. I’ve struggled with body positivity since I started high school. Three years later and I don’t even know if I have started recovering or not. It’s gotten to the point where I skipped meals and felt happy when I starve myself. Sometimes I ate only a meager lunch and skipped breakfast and dinner entirely. I would even lose sleep and I became anemic. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ve gotten a bit better. Thanks for sharing this post.

    —Athena Christy

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me. I admire your strength to be so open. That will inspire a lot of people. I’m so glad you’re on a path to getting better. Always here if you need to talk.?

  13. Such an important post! And you’re absolutely right, we need to learn to love ourselves first, in order to be an example to the younger generations looking up to us.

  14. I love this post! If we spent the extra moment or two, to affirm our children’s bodies while teaching them about health. The world would be so different!!

  15. Such a meaningful and important post to share.

    I don’t recall ever being taught in school the value of loving or even liking yourself. I know I’m only 27 but it feels like only in recent years body positivity has become a thing. It’s only recently as a result that I’ve began to truly like myself and feel comfortable in my skin. I hate the thought of my children / any child / anyone in general having to go through their young life disliking themselves and not feeling accepted.

    Kate |

    1. I think it was just assumed to like yourself in my day. (I’m 30) people were just not as aware and open to that not being doable. Thank you so much for sharing this.?

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