I recently created a survey on body confidence to see what it is that is contributing to your self confidence (or lack of) and to see what can be done to change it. I’m not going to lie, the results I got did surprise me, and some of the stories you ladies shared were heartbreaking. Lets take a look at the survey results.
Under 18 7%
How confident are you with the way your body looks?
Very Confident 7%
Not Very Confident 59%
Not Confident At All 7%
How often do you look in the mirror and compliment yourself?
All the time, I feel great 5%
Most of the time 24%
Every now and then 49%
How often you make negative comments about your looks?
Every day 39%
At least once a week 34%
Once a month 22%
Do you think today’s media is affecting your body image in a negative way?
I’m not sure 15%
Comparison is the thief of joy. Do you often compare yourself to others?
Yes, regularly 56%
No, never 10%
Do you find yourself not liking those you see as more attractive than yourself?
How did your family present themselves as feeling about their bodies?
My entire family constantly placed an importance on eating as healthy – we loved our bodies 7%
We didn’t view each other in terms of our appearances, and if we had to, it was positive 37%
Sometimes my parents would encourage us to diet 29%
We definitely ate a lot, but we also hated the way we looked 27%
Do you avoid situations, simply because of what you would need to wear? (eg swimming, parties)
Do you exercise? If so, why?
Yes. To be a stronger, healthier person 63%
Yes. To lose weight 27%
No. But I should 10%
How many diets have you tried?
I have never been on a diet 19%
Was the diet/s successful?
Yes, and I kept the weight off 29%
Yes, but I gained all the weight back 37%
No, it didn’t work 12%
I have never been on a diet 22%
When it comes to health and fitness, what do you struggle with most?
Finding the time 19%
Is there anyone who has compromised your confidence? What did that person do or say to bring you down and cause you to doubt yourself?
*I am only going to share a few of these, as some of them are quite personal. The majority of the answers to this question were that a parent or partner were the ones who said negative things/compromised your confidence.
“I remember watching my mom stand in front of a mirror squeezing her belly and saying mean things about herself. I kind of learned that it’s not okay to like your body.”
“My mom implied that I was fat. “I haven’t seen you this fat since you were a baby.” *Surprisingly, this answer was listed a few times.
“I remember my father yelling at me for eating late at night. He would make comments about how much food I ate.”
“My first boyfriend. He made a lot of insults that slowly picked away at what very little confidence I had at 16.”
*After reading some heartbreaking stories, it was great to see this positive one. I just wish everyone could have this ladies positive outlook!
“My confidence starts as soon as I wake up in the morning. I get up, get dressed and compliment myself, for myself. I understand now that everyone has imperfections, and everyone is trying to improve on something about themselves. I have my imperfections, but instead of ME, criticizing MYSELF, I compliment MYSELF and go and work on improving myself for myself. I am strong, and constantly improving, that is what we as people need to understand, that understanding that nothing, no one is perfect, anyone can improve. DO WORK! So in summary, no, no one has compromised my confidence, and if they did I cannot recall because what they think is not important, what is important is what I think, and I am strong and beautiful, like every other woman in this world.”
What is one specific thing you do that undermines your self-worth and causes you to not like yourself or your life?
“When I eat junk food or anything bad, it makes my stomach hurt, and that in turn, makes me feel worse about eating it.”
“Trying on clothing and being overly critical undermines my self worth by making me feel like the appearance of my body is the important thing that people will focus on and making me self conscious of how I look to others.”
“Scrutinise everything about me, looking at each part of my body individually and picking it apart instead of looking at it as a whole and positively.”
What is one specific thing you do that helps you like yourself and your life?
“MY SUPPORTERS!!!!!!!! I work out at a wonderful gym with great woman that just smile and constantly motivate each other! All of us are all shapes and sizes and we all have something to work on, but we compliment each other, expect each other to be there the next day and have a great time!”
“Wake up every morning grateful that I am alive and say 3 positive things at the end of each day about the day.”
“Constant reminders that I’m making healthy choices, I’ve gotten to a healthy weight in a healthy way, and I’m still on the right track.”
“I realize it could always be much much worse. There are people all over the world who have suffered horrible unspeakable things, and here I am in this world of mine. Then I make myself look around at everything I have, I think of everything I have, what I am not going without and I realize ‘what do I really have to be unhappy about?”
“I participate in a lot of races. I will be completing my fourth half marathon in May. My body may be big, but it is strong.”
What do you think would help you to be more confident?
“Loving myself, understanding how my body works or reacts to certain foods. Dealing with stress and hurt in a positive way and finding a way to see that food is not an answer.”
“I would be more confident if I could learn to stop overthinking things and let go of worrying about what others will think of me.”
“More acknowledgement that I am enough, more personal success, more humility and more helping and boosting others!”
What’s your advice to someone who wants to boost their self-esteem? (I loved the advice you ladies gave here!)
“You need to learn to love yourself and for every negative thing you think about yourself there are 10 positive things you are forgetting about!”
“Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend about her. Treat yourself with the same care you give others.”
“Those models aren’t real! Photoshop is ruining the way we see bodies and also creating unachievable ‘role models’. Find the parts of your body that you love (we all have them) and flaunt them! You’ll learn to love the rest of you, just give it time.”
“You can do anything! You can have everything if you’re willing to work for it.”
“NO ONE IS PERFECT!!! You might see someone who is just perfect, perfect body, perfect hair, perfect whatever, but that person looks in the mirror and sees her imperfections, because no one is perfect. We are who we are because human beings are not suppose to look the same. All shapes are beautiful, grab that big booty and squat! Lunge them big thighs and tone them up, your core will look great by feeding your body what it needs not what your craving wants! You are who you are, just improve yourself, do not try to change yourself, just improve yourself. You are beautiful.”
Thank you to all of the ladies from around the world who took the time to complete this survey! Stay tuned for ‘Love Your Body’ blog posts coming soon!