Why is it important to feel comfortable with yourself?

The Children’s Society the U.K., released its Good Childhood Report for 2020 last September. As part of the study, school children were asked what features they thought their friends would say are the most important in boys and girls. The study discovered that to both boys and girls, being good looking was the clear standout characteristic. These cannot be ignored as standalone answers because they have deeper implications. Here’s an example “children who chose working hard at school as the most important quality scored highest for well-being. Children who chose aspects such as being tough as an important trait for boys and having good clothes for girls scored the lowest for well-being across the group.

The social cultivation of problematic beliefs about how one should look starts early and the beliefs become even more problematic when they are gendered. Born in America in 1959 and popular globally, the doll Barbie has been criticised for “immensely unrealistic body proportions when compared to an average woman’s body”. Studies have shown how these dolls impacted the children who possessed them the children took to extreme dieting habits, and also lacked body positivity and self confidence. While dolls depicting women are slim, those depicting men are invariably muscular. Sadly, the number of dolls depicting people other than female” and “male” is abysmally low globally.

Adolescence and body image

Issues related to body image become acute during adolescence, and can have a deep and lasting impact on one’s wellness. Adolescence is not the easiest phase of life, marked as it is by remarkable physical, emotional, and psychological changes. For many children already grappling with a sudden attraction to other people, the sprouting of armpit and pubic hair, increased sweating, weight gain, stretch marks, a changing voice, acne, the onset of menstruation, etc. can make the phase confusing, and even a struggle. The added burden of having to look and behave a certain way in accordance with one’s gender as demanded by those around could lead to mental and physical health concerns.

Your looks do not define you

The universal truth is that we are all different – in everything from how we look to how we behave, irrespective of our gender. To judge someone based on how they look or to expect someone to look and behave a certain way that reaffirms their gender is to be grossly unfair to them. For instance, to constantly tell someone they are pretty is to reduce them to how they look discounting their inherent traits and abilities. Further, it could subtly force them to hold on to being pretty all the time, causing unspoken stress. And for those around not being called pretty could make them feel excluded leading them to view pretty as something to aspire for at the cost of their own talents Spectacles, braces, acne, body weight, none of these makes you any less precious as an individual What is important is to be comfortable in your body and know that you have the liberty to be yourself. And. this is a step towards a more peaceful life.


Picture Credit : Google

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