I didn’t like my body
Coree first started to feel insecure about his body in secondary school when, along with his classmates and peers, he went through the trials and tribulations of puberty.
As a 14-year-old boy, it was a confusing time that left Coree feeling generally uncertain about his body despite him knowing there wasn’t anything specific about his physical appearance that he disliked.
Most people will be able to relate, to some extent, to the feeling of being uncomfortable in their body at this a crucial point in teenage development. For Coree, however, this feeling of creeping uncertainty followed him like a shadow into adulthood.
In my head I wasn’t always really happy with the way I looked.
Coree’s first step to overcoming his self-doubt was ‘recognising and realising’ that his negative thoughts were ‘distorted’. As he grew up, his identity and sense of self developed, so he was able to look back and see how the worries he once had are now no big deal.
Now older and wiser, Coree prioritises self-care to make sure that he practises kindness towards himself, which pushes away his negative self-talk.
Coree also made a self-confessed drastic change to his appearance by cutting off his dreadlocks, because he felt he was hiding himself behind them. He notes that there may be other small adjustments people can make to their outward appearance, to help change their perception of themselves. But regardless of whether you can (or even want to) change your outward appearance, it is most important to work on how you feel about yourself, to shift your perception of yourself in a positive way.
After recognising his insecurities were holding him back from doing things fun things, Coree made some changes. With maturity, Coree is able to challenge his constant self-comparison with others, and now feels more empowered to be himself. Coree now enjoys swimming on holiday with his boyfriend, without a t-shirt to hide under. > Don’t let the past dictate your future.
His advice to anyone else feeling generally insecure about their body is that finding and being comfortable with yourself is a process. Trust the process and #selfcare!
Where to find support
If you feel unhappy about your body or appearance and that negative thoughts about this are starting to affect your enjoyment of life, friendships and social activities - you should speak to an adult you trust and explore ways to get help.
We've got you covered with articles on a range of body image issues and body positivity right here on Bitesize Support.
Don't suffer in silence, and visit your GP if the problems persist.