Why you hate your body and what you can do about it
Everybody wants to be praised for his or her beauty and there is often a lot of pressure to look different or something close to whatever society defines as beautiful at the time. Body shaming on social media has made the situation worse with many teenagers seeking comfort in drugs and anti-social behaviours to cope with the cyber bullying.
Yet, when you look around, you will notice different body types amongst teenage boys and girls. There are boys with broad chests and others with narrow hips, there are young men with long arms and large hands while there are those with softer physical features. Some girls have broad hips, small breasts, and thin waistlines while others have thick waistlines and large breasts.
These differences are based largely on our genetics and intensified by our lifestyle choices. There are therefore, things about your body that you can change, like your weight, simply by eating healthy and exercising more often. There are those however, that you cannot change like your height and metabolism rate. Either way dwelling on these differences often affects your self-esteem and eventually hampers your approach towards life and other people.
Your body type (which should not be confused with your body shape)
People criticise their bodies due to ignorance about body types. This ignorance also often leads to the false belief that certain body types are more beautiful than others, which is not the case. There are three natural body types depending your skeleton frame and body composition. You could be an ectomorph, endomorph or a mesomorph.
As an Ectomorph you tend to be thin with long limbs and small muscles. Your metabolism is high and as such you struggle to gain weight whether as muscle or body fat. You can eat piles of food without gaining weight and even if you do, you still look skinny. (Think of your super model friend or long distance runner). In some in stances you are considered physically weak. As a young man you may long to build muscles but it takes a lot of effort. For the female ectomorphs they may desire wider hips and larger breasts like their your peers.
As an Endomorph: You are the opposite of the ectomorph and you tend to gain weight and keep it. You have wider hips, shorter limbs, high body fat and more muscle than the other body types. If you feel as though just one plate of chips adds 10kgs of your body weight then you are an ectomorph. Think of your plus size model or typical rugby player.
Mesomorphs on the other hand are in the middle of ectomorph and endomorph. You take the best of both worlds and you tend to be naturally fit. You have wide shoulders; relatively thin joints and narrow waist and can loose and gain weight easily.
In other instances, you can find that you are in between these three body types an ecto mesomorph and meso endomorph.
Change your perspective about your body type
People will treat you the way you treat yourself. If you believe and act like you are beautiful or handsome, because you are, others will follow suit. Affirm your beauty so that others can imitate it. Join body positivity programs to build your confidence, educate others about body types to reduce stigma and surround yourself with positive people who understand your body type and uplift your self-confidence.
While you cannot change your natural body type, you can still work out the best version of yourself by altering your dietary and exercise regimes. This will help you manage your weight, gain muscle and address existing and future health conditions.
For example, as an ectomorph you may desire to gain weight as such you should eat more protein and calorie dense foods on the regular. Your exercises will be geared towards gaining more muscle in the body as opposed to aerobic exercises that will get you burning more calories. As an the endomorph, your goal is to manage your weight gain and so you will try to eat less carbs for instance, do more aerobic exercises to burn fat and carry weights often to condition your muscles.
Love thyself as you love your neighbour
Educating yourself about your physical and emotional make up will open your eyes to your uniqueness. You will be able to challenge the critics and respect others who are different from you. Work at being the best version of yourself. Practice self-love everyday and bring on board other people who are equally self aware so that you can uplift each other.