How you look

Feeling happy about how you look can help you to feel confident. It's normal to worry about the way you look sometimes. Especially as you grow and go through puberty.

Feeling good about how you look

There can be a lot of pressure to look a certain way and fit in with everyone else. Sometimes you can be hurt or affected by what others think and say.

You might be feeling unhappy about your hair, skin colour or your weight or embarrassed about wearing glasses or braces. It can be hard to accept how you look if you feel pressure to have "perfect" skin or a certain type of body shape.

Your confidence can improve by not comparing yourself to people you see in films, music videos and magazines. Remember that these images aren't real and no one is perfect.

Sometimes other people can bully you, comment on how you look or treat you unfairly. You could be told what to wear or someone could try to make you look more like them. No one should make you feel bad about yourself. In healthy relationships other people will accept you as you are.

5 things to help you feel better

  • Everyone's different so don't compare yourself to other people.
  • Ignore any negative or mean comments from other people.
  • Write down 3 things you like about yourself and read it every morning.
  • Share your thoughts with other young people on our message boards and read their comments.
  • Focus on hobbies you enjoy or things you are good at - this can help build your confidence.

Bullying about how  you look

It can be really hard if you're bullied because of the way you look. Being called names or being treated badly because of your appearance, raceculture or sexuality is wrong.

Being bullied or discriminated against can make you want to change things about yourself. Racial bullying might make you want to wear make up to change your skin tone. You might want to be older, taller, shorter, straight or able-bodied to try to stop being bullied.

Remember, you don't have to change anything about yourself to fit in. Getting support so that the bullying can stop can help you to feel okay about yourself.

You could:

they say stuff about my
body shape

Being bullied? Get support.


Your identity is made of lots of things. It includes your race, ethnicity, gender, disability, how you look, your strengths and weaknesses and your likes and dislikes. All of these together make up who you are and how others see you. Your identity makes you distinct from every other person.

Being connected with other people because of characteristics like your skin colour, where you were born and your gender is also part of your identity. You might belong to a faith or religion or a group based on politics, music or the clothes you wear. It's okay to connect with people who are different from you as well and it doesn't stop you being unique.

Sometimes people make generalisations and assumptions based on your characteristics or the groups you belong to. This is called stereotyping and it can be type of discrimination. If you are being treated differently for who you are you can get advice about discrimination.

Remember that you are individual and unique. Getting to know yourself and accepting who you are can help you to feel safe in the world and less threatened by others.

Be yourself

  • Think about what's important to you and what feels right for you. If you always try to copy other people or change for them, it can be hard to be yourself and feel comfortable.
  • It takes time, but often you'll feel happier if you accept things about yourself. Accepting yourself means noticing things you are happy and unhappy about and seeing that they are all part of what makes you unique.
  • Find out about being assertive so you can say exactly how you feel if someone is pressuring you.
  • Take a break from people who put you down. You could delete anyone who makes negative comments about you on social media, and walk away from people who say unhelpful things about you.

Watch: Body positivity

Watch: Queer bodies

Watch: Boys' body image

Things to remember

  • No one should treat you badly for your appearance. You have the right to be treated with respect.
  • How you look is a part of who you are. Your personality, achievements and how you behave are important too.
  • Images on televsion, adverts, magazines and online are often altered and airbrushed so they aren’t always real
  • Comparing yourself to others can make you feel jealous and upset. You can boost your confidence by writing down things you like about yourself.
  • It can help to talk about how you feel. You could talk to a Childline Counsellor or get support from other young people on our message boards.