What We Can All Learn About Body Image From A Teenage Naturist
By Guest Blogger – Ms. Barely Hidden
*Note from Jordan – Who better to educate me / us about teenagers and body image than a teenage naturist girl! Lucky for me, there is a wonderful family who I love dearly, and as luck would have it, one of the daughters is 15 years old, a naturist and a gifted writer! Below is the article she wrote especially for us.
Seeing Through Natural Eyes – Teenage Body Image and Naturism
I just recently turned 15 years old. I’m a teenage girl and I’ve been a naturist for the last 3 years. Currently, I attend an all-girls school where personal growth and development are strongly encouraged. As a result, body acceptance is also prevalent in our community. Despite this, the students around me still seem to have a hard time accepting their own bodies. As a teenager, I’m faced everyday with dilemmas and worries concerning my body and others. At school, no matter who you hang out with, you hear people say things like; “I’m too fat.” “You’re so pretty!” “My boobs are too small.” “My boobs are too big.” “I wish I looked like you.”
Personally I don’t find these concerns to be as pressing. As a young kid, I loved to read and learn. I didn’t watch a lot of TV or read magazines. By avoiding those two media sources, I managed to avoid so much of the mainstream media’s ideas. I wasn’t comparing myself to models and I looked up to my parents as examples of good adults. My father was also a photo-shoot stylist for a while, which introduced me to an entirely different view of fashion than the widely accepted view. I saw fashion and clothes in general, to have two main uses: function and / or expression.
I knew I would never look like a model in a magazine, but I also knew that models didn’t look like models in magazines. Hairdressers, make-up artists, photographers, and stylists all contributed to the image that would be the product of the photo-shoot. In fact, only a small few of the pictures taken ever make it to the public eye. Knowing this relieved that pressure of living up to the pictures of beauty that were illustrated in fashion magazines everywhere.
However, I still began to become insecure. I was still too skinny, too short, and too bony. There are two things that helped me gain confidence and acceptance of my own body. Dance and naturism really allowed me to overcome my insecurities. Dance was a way for me to learn to be in control of my body and to accept the fact that it changed at a different rate than my peers’ bodies. Naturism on the other hand, allowed me to actually see that nobody was the same. Everybody was different and the socially accepted views of beauty were limited to a slim amount of real people. Even then, they didn’t fit the ideal perfectly.
All in all, I found beauty to be a very subjective ideal that depended on the situation and person. Now I personally find that everybody around me has their own appealing qualities that shine through, being a kid or a teenager is tough… for that matter so is being an adult! We all struggle with body image and comparing ourselves to others makes it worse. I found that, accepting that your body will develop in its own way is an essential part of body acceptance.
I would like to thank Ms. Barely Hidden for writing this wonderful blog about Teenage Body Image for us! Please feel free to comment and show her the love and appreciation she deserves!
Let’s hope she will be willing to share more of her thoughts with us!
This guest article titled – Teenage Naturist Teaches Us About Teenage Body Image Issues — was published by Young Naturists and Young Nudists America YNA