How you look

Feeling happy about how you look is part of how you feel about yourself. It's normal to worry about the way you look sometimes, especially as you grow and go through puberty.

looking "normal"

There can be a lot of pressure to look a certain way and fit in with everyone else. And sometimes we can be hurt or affected by what others think and say. In films, music videos and magazines everyone seems to look a certain way and have perfect skin. But it's not like that in real life. You don't have to look far to see that everyone around you is different in some way. But it's normal to worry. 

You might be feeling:

  • unhappy about your body shape
  • embarrassed about pimples
  • awkward about wearing glasses or braces
  • as though your clothes don't suit you
  • unhappy about your hair or skin colour
  • like your breasts are the wrong size
  • like your penis or vagina look wrong.

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
  • find something you like about yourself
  • share your thoughts with other young people on our message boards
  • focus on hobbies you enjoy or things you are good at - this can help build your confidence.

Pressure from friends or family

It's normal to worry about the way you look sometimes, especially as you grow and go through puberty. There can be a lot of pressure to look a certain way and fit in with everyone else.

Sometimes it can feel like other people want you to look a certain way. For instance:

  • friends or family wanting you to change your clothing style so you look more like them
  • people at school saying you don't fit in with them
  • being told to lose or gain weight
  • comparing yourself to people on TV, music videos and stuff you see online
  • your boyfriend or girlfriend telling you to wear makeup, change your hairstyle or remove some body hair.

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.

Find out about being assertive so you can say exactly how you feel if someone is pressuring you.

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.

You've got the right to get support so that the bullying can stop.

You could:

they say stuff about my
body shape

Being bullied? Get support.

what you can do

Comparing yourself to others can make you feel jealous and upset. But there are things you can do to make you feel better.

Boost your confidence
Write down things you like about yourself. Once you've found one thing, it'll be easier to find other things. You can also get advice on building your confidence and self-esteem.

Talk about how you feel
It can help to talk about how you feel. And there are lots of people you can talk to. You could try getting support from other young people on our message boards.

Other sites that can help:

Brook has info about body parts.

The Site has questions from young people about appearance.