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Education Hub

Appreciate your body

13 Years & Older

All bodies are different, and that’s what makes them incredible. No two people experience the world in exactly the same way – we have our own ways of seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and moving. It’s important to appreciate our bodies for all their differences, because that’s what makes us unique and special.

When we appreciate our bodies, we are more likely to have better mental and physical health. We are more likely to care for our bodies by treating them with respect and giving them what they need. This means we can do the things we love and get the most out of every single day.

It can be tough to appreciate our own body if we are constantly comparing it to others. Some bodies can run fast, some bodies are good at algebra, some bodies can sing and some bodies are really good at knowing when they need to rest. Everybody has different skills, strengths and talents. Wishing your body was more like someone else’s or trying to change your body in some way doesn’t end well.

When people make comments about the way we look – either positive or negative – it’s hard not to be affected by it. If someone says something to you, or about you, remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with your body. Focus on what makes you unique and special, instead of trying to change the way you look to conform.

If we make time to appreciate our bodies each and every single day, we build strength and resilience against anything that might make us feel bad about our bodies.

Appreciating our body is an important lifelong skill to have. This is even more important when we are tired, sick, not feeling great or noticing our body starting to change during puberty. Researchers have discovered that when we appreciate our body, we are more likely to fuel it with a wide variety of foods and do physical activity we enjoy. It even makes us more likely to ask for help when we need it – and that’s a great thing!

Embracing your body is good for you in so many ways.

People with positive body image are more likely to put their hand up in class, attend and succeed at school, and go for opportunities like leadership positions (hey, school captain!). Think about all the things you could achieve if you’re not spending your time worrying about the way you look or trying to change your appearance.

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    Focus on functionality.
When you’re feeling sad or frustrated about your body, try writing down all the things your body can do and why they are important to you. Over time, you will have a big long list of things that you appreciate about your body. You can open this up any time you’re upset or feel like your body has failed you.
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    Try not to compare your body to others.
Your body is your home for your entire life and it is capable of so many amazing things. You only get one, so you’re far better off appreciating its unique shape, size and features than wishing it was a carbon copy of someone else’s.
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    Know that there is no such thing as a perfect body.
Our differences are what make us special. If we all looked and did the same things, life would be seriously boring. Yawn!
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    See a wide range of bodies.
Mixing up your social media feeds to include a range of different accounts will open up your ability to appreciate all bodies. Make sure there are fat bodies, disabled bodies, queer bodies, bodies with different skin colours, wrinkled bodies, bodies who are great at being reflective, and bodies who can dance, sing and make messy art in your newsfeed. Add in some non-bodies as well – whether it’s music, art, travel or pets, there is lots of other great content out there that has nothing to do with appearances.
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    Try not to talk about bodies.
Making comments about your own and other people’s appearance – even positive comments – can increase the focus on how our bodies look. Try giving compliments about things other than appearance, and try to change the subject if friends start to complain about their bodies.

Interactive Downloads

Download these free resources to help you embrace your body!

#IHaveEmbraced Pledge Desktop Wallpaper

All Bodies Are Amazing Printable Art

Embrace Key Messages To Remember Printable

Focus On
Functionality Worksheet

Self Compassion Journaling Prompts Worksheet

Sparkle From The
Inside
Printable

REFRAME FOR APPRECIATION

Flip the square to see how you can transform the way you appreciate your body.

I wish my body looked as good as my friend’s body.

My body has its own strengths that are different to my friend’s. Physical appearance and beauty are subjective. Our inner beauty is worth more as it is something that will only grow over time.

My body is different to my friends, and I wish I was the same as them.

Our differences are what makes us special and that means we can do so much more together!

I’m not as fit as my friend and it takes me longer to do physical activity.

I take my time to do things and that means I notice more of the world around me. I get to appreciate nature when I am out walking instead of speeding past it.

I get frustrated with my body when it gets sick.

My body is doing the best it can. It takes a lot of effort and incredible energy to overcome illness – it's doing a wonderful job.

When I am tired, I can’t do the things I want to do.

Listening to my body is respecting that it needs rest. It means I can be my whole self when I have restored my energy again, rather than running on empty.

I feel bad when I don’t do well on a test.

My body is trying its hardest and will learn something new from this test. It’s also OK if I don’t ever do great on written tests – many people are ‘smart’ in different ways.

I feel bad when I compare my body to others.

My body is unique and deserves respect and appreciation always.

Sometimes it feels like my body isn’t good enough.

I recognise that my body works hard to keep my heart beating, my lungs breathing and my muscles moving.

My commitment to myself

I will accept and appreciate my body.
I will fuel and move my body because it feels good!
I know that I have special magic – unique only to me.
What I look like is not as important as what I do and who I am being in this world.
I will Embrace my body and encourage other people to do the same.

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