It's a sad reality, but many young women's most formative years (i.e. middle school and high school) are rife with horrible self-esteem issues, from "am I the right size?" to "my boobs are too big/small/boob-like". While some of these self-perceptions may be linked to academic performance or evolving friendships and social standings, body image is something everyone struggles to accept. Although body dysmorphia is nothing new in society, it seems as if more women are talking about their personal experiences with self-esteem and eating disorders now more than ever before. From Demi Lovato to Zoë Kravitz, celebrities are using their public profiles to help launch greater discussion about how young women can learn to not only accept their bodies, but actually love them. Ahead, 12 celebrities weigh in on how to love yourself: mind and body.
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“It can be really challenging in today’s world for anyone—especially girls and women—to feel good about their bodies. No matter how things look from the outside, we can all be super critical of ourselves…My job at those moments is to tell myself the truth. Am I taking care of myself in a healthy way? Am I respecting myself and being responsible? And over and over, I answer yes to that question. I remind myself to be kind to myself, as as slightly ridiculous as it may sound, to treat myself in the same gentle way I’d want to treat a daughter. It really helps.” (Seventeen)
“I think just as I’ve grown up as a person, I’ve begun to understand my body shape more. I’ve grown to really like my boobs—I’m into them right now, so I like wearing things that are good for them." (NYLON)
“Girls see enough of this body that we can’t imitate, that we’ll never be able to obtain, these unrealistic expectations… it’s better to look strong and be healthy.” (BBC)
"You just have to be yourself. It’s really not that hard! You just need to stop going on Instagram so much, because that shit is not real. I do not look like that in real life! It’s a professional photographer and Photoshop!” (Rookie)
“I keep telling myself that I'm a human being, an imperfect human who's not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure." (Glamour UK)
"Believe in your body. Believe in your abilities. Push yourself today. Tell yourself you can. Exceed all expectation. You are as beautiful as you believe." (Instagram)
“Sometimes a good way to help yourself get out of it is to have some gratitude. What I mean by that is, if you can go around your body and kind of thank it for what it gives you and thank yourself for your great eyesight, or your thick hair, or your nice legs, or your strong teeth, or whatever it is that you have that you were given. And make friends with those parts of your body and not try to focus on the parts that will never change." (Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls)
“I think when you're with the wrong person in a relationship, you start to see yourself differently. I felt very ugly when I was with a certain person because he made me feel ugly inside. He wouldn't even touch me in public. And when I look back at those photos I feel like kind of sad because I looked just fine.” (Glamour)
“We do not value ourselves enough. Especially young people, [who] don’t really appreciate, how brilliant our bodies are. I’ve always been very, very specific, and very choosy—very choosy—about what I do with my body, and who I want to share that with.” (MTV)
"I think no matter what you look like, the key is to first of all be happy with yourself. And then you know if you want to try to improve things that you don't like about yourself, then do it after you appreciate yourself." (Huffington Post)
“Over the holidays, and even during filming, I realized that I actually like my body, even if it's not perfect according to the book. I just feel sexy. For the first time, I don't want to get rid of the curves. I just want to tone it up. My body is comfortable, and it's not unhealthy, so I'm going to rock with it.” (Vogue)
“When you finally accept that it's OK not to have answers and it's OK not to be perfect, you realize that feeling confused is a normal part of what it is to be a human being.” (Cinema)