Trading Comparison for Compassion and Communication

by Maddie Stanik & Lena Teng, TAC Members, The Launch Pad Teen Center

Do you ever find yourself wondering how you look while sitting at a restaurant full of people? Do you sit up a little taller, afraid your tummy might escape from your jeans?

These comparisons are the result of self-objectification. In other words, picturing yourself being looked at. When struggling with self-objectification, we begin to make harmful comparisons, whether this means comparing our bodies to what a “normal” body looks like or comparing it to past versions of ourselves.

Our bodies deserve compassion. If you find yourself in a state of self-objectification, speak kindly to yourself: “I understand I feel self-conscious about how I look. It is hard to leave my house, but I deserve to go to events that make me happy, to see the sun, to enjoy music and bond with others over shared passions.”

Being kind to our bodies is difficult, so reach out to friends and family so that together, we can empower each other!

While self-acceptance is not always a simple task, we can emphasize empowerment and pride in our lives by prioritizing building strong relationships and enjoying activities that make our bodies and minds proud.

Community engagement is one especially impactful way to prioritize both your mental health and that of a much broader group of people, encompassing all who you connect with and inspire.

Movement is another essential aspect to making your body proud. Whether you choose to go on morning walks with your dog, play pickleball with your family and friends or appreciate some evening yoga, keeping an active body helps prevent an overactive mind.

Even just taking a few moments at the dinner table to focus on healthy discussion with your loved ones can help to foster a more positive mindset.

By building healthy communication, both between your mind and body and with those close to you, you create the opportunity to embrace self-esteem and confidence.

However you choose to make your body proud this spring, we hope you share this positivity with others so you not only make your body proud, but also bring positivity to the bodies of other valuable members of our community.