Text B Self-Esteem and Body Image
I'm fat. I'm too skinny. I'd be happy if I were taller, shorter, had curly hair, straight hair, a smaller nose, bigger muscles, longer legs.
Do any of these statements sound familiar?(承上句) Are you used to putting yourself down(贬低;使出丑)? If so, you're not alone. As a teen, you're going through a ton of(大量的)changes in your body. And as your body changes, so does your image of yourself. Lots of people have trouble adjusting, and this can affect their self-esteem.
Why Are Self-Esteem and Body Image Important?
Self-esteem is all about how much people value themselves, the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile(=worthy) they feel. Self-esteem is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you act. A person who has high self-esteem will make friends easily, is more in control of his or her behavior, and will enjoy life more.
Body image is how someone feels about his or her own physical appearance. For many people, especially those in their early teens, body image can be closely linked to self-esteem. That's because as kids develop into teens, they care more about how others see them.(承上句)
What Influences a Person's Self-Esteem?
Some teens struggle with their self-esteem when they begin puberty because the body goes through many changes. These changes, combined with a natural desire to feel accepted, mean it can be tempting for people to compare themselves with others. They may compare themselves with the people around them or with actors and celebs they see on TV, in movies, or in magazines.
But it's impossible to measure ourselves against(对照…评价;同…较量) others because the changes that come with puberty are different for everyone.(承上启下句、主题句)Some people start developing early; others are late bloomers(成熟者). Some get a temporary layer of fat to prepare for a growth spurt(急剧增长); others fill out(长胖) permanently, and still others feel like(感觉象是;摸起来如同;想要) they stay skinny no matter how much they eat. It all depends on how our genes have programmed(规划) our bodies to act.(承上总结句)
The changes that come with puberty can affect how both girls and guys feel about themselves. Some girls may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about their maturing bodies. Others may wish that they were developing faster. Girls may feet pressure to be thin but guys may feel like they don't look big or muscular enough.
It's not just development that affects self-esteem, though. Many other factors (like media images of skinny girls and bulked-up身材魁梧的 guys) can affect a person's body image too.
Family life can sometimes influence self-esteem. Some parents spend more time criticizing their kids and the way they look than praising them, which can reduce kids' ability to develop good self-esteem.
People also may experience negative comments and hurtful teasing(取笑) about the way they look from classmates and peers. Sometimes racial and ethnic prejudice is the source of such comments. Although these often come from ignorance, sometimes they can affect someone's body image and self-esteem.
If you have a positive body image, you probably like and accept yourself the way you are. This healthy attitude allows you to explore other aspects of growing up, such as developing good friendships, growing more independent from your parents, and challenging yourself physically and mentally. Developing these parts of yourself can help boost your self-esteem.
A positive, optimistic attitude can help people develop strong self-esteem. For example, saying, "Hey, I'm human" instead of "Wow, I'm such a loser" when you've made a mistake, or not blaming others when things don't go as expected.
Knowing what makes you happy and how to meet your goals can help you feel capable, strong, and in control of your life. A positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle (such as exercising and eating right) are a great combination for building good self-esteem.
Tips for Improving Your Body Image
Some people think they need to change how they look or act to feel good about themselves. But actually all you need to do is change the way you see your body and how you think about yourself.
The first thing to do is recognize that your body is your own, no matter what shape, size, or color it comes in. If you're very worried about your weight or size, check with your doctor to verify that things are OK. But it's no one's business but your own what your body is like. Ultimately, you have to be happy with yourself.
Next, identify which aspects of your appearance you can realistically change and which you can't. Everyone (even the most perfect-seeming celeb) has things about themselves that they can't change and need to accept, like their height, for example, or their shoe size.
If there are things about yourself that you want to change and can (such as how fit you are), do this by making goals for yourself. For example, if you want to get fit, make a plan to exercise every day and eat nutritious foods. Then keep track of your progress until you reach your goal. Meeting a challenge you set for yourself is a great way to boost self-esteem!
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