Seeing as though yesterday was International Women’s Day, I think it is only appropriate to write about women and girls and their relationship with body image and self love.

I asked my friendship group to answer the following questions:

  1. What is something you don’t like about your body and personality?
  2. What is something you love about your body and personality?

Their answers, along with my own are in the table below. 

Something I don’t like about my…

Something I love about my…






  • Love Handles
  • Bad at socialising with new groups
  • Waist
  • Can take a joke/pay myself out


  • Stretch marks between legs & short hair
  • Don’t like new people
  • Eyes
  • Don’t care what other people have to say about her


  • Teeth
  • Can be a push over
  • Eyes
  • Bubbly personality


  • Big bottom and thighs & large front teeth
  • Fall for boys easily, sells herself short to other people & fear of being judged
  • Flat stomach & long hair
  • Caring personality, always has a shoulder to cry on & amazing friendship group


  • Thighs
  • Trouble sorting life out
  • Bubble butt and hair
  • Great choice in friends and always makes the best of every situation

After they answered, I asked them why they didn’t like those specific things about themselves? What made them decide that they weren’t worthy of appreciation?

Frances was always asked by previous boyfriends if she hated the stretch marks, but she always replied that she couldn’t really do anything about it. The reasoning behind the hair is because people always make comments on it. I find this really confusing as she is one of few who can actually pull off short hair? And may I just add that she fought to cut her hair for shave for a cure.

Frances after shave for a cure.

Isobel said she hates her teeth even though her mum always tells her that they give her character. She also said that many people comment on how they are moving out of place (she once had braces). I, along with Isobel’s mum, think that Isobel’s smile is one of a kind. It goes hand in hand with her bubbly personality.

Isobel is pictured on the right.

Alicia doesn’t particularly like her thighs as her relatives are always commenting on her weight (whether she has lost or gained it) and she has had boys say that she was thinner that what they thought she was going to be. A girl also once said that her legs were like tree trunks. It’s amazing though, because many people know Alicia for her amazing bottom and legs (and this is not in a bad way). It means that she is able to pull off a killer pair of jeans. She also said that her parents always comment on how she hasn’t got a concrete idea of her future, and everyone around her seems to have a plan but she doesn’t.

Excuse the raunchiness, but omg Alicia.

Jess said that she personally doesn’t like her thighs because of the cellulite. She was also bullied in primary school about her weight and this mentally affected her as she is now always self conscious of her thighs, despite what anyone else has to say. Again, it is so crazy to hear this because girl’s would LOVE to have a body like Jess’s.

Jess is pictured on the left. I mean…seriously.

After hearing what they had to say, it was amazing to see who had developed these thoughts through other people’s opinions, and who had thought of it themselves. At one point or another, they had all heard something that someone had said about them, and they began to believe it.

This is why positive body image messages need to be reinforced to both girls and boys, at a young age.

I recently saw a quote which read,

It’s hard to be sad about your body when you think of it as a landscape. You don’t criticise a mountain for being too big, or a valley for being too winding, and no one ever complains about the vastness of the sea. You are part of the earth and you are so beautiful friends”.

I personally have been able to accept my body and personality flaws. Of course there are things that I don’t particularly like, but it’s not something that I choose to dwell on.

When I first started high school, I always wore makeup, made sure that my body was always appealing for the people who may be judging me, and never really liked the way that I looked.

I clearly remember in Year 10, undertaking Pastoral Care and Personal Development lessons at school. We were split up into girl and boy sessions. Our Year Coordinator ran the classes, and this year in particular was about self-love and accepting who you were as a person.

She encouraged us to not wear makeup to school (I thought this was ridiculous), and to support other girls with their journey through self acceptance. We were given these black cards with pink writing on them that had message’s on them such as “I am beautiful, despite what other people may think”.

It was part of the butterfly effect; the idea that a small change can make a huge difference.

That’s what I am hoping to do today. Accepting and loving the skin that you are in can take years to fully accomplish, especially today when other girls are constantly trying to bring you down.

This International Women’s Day, my girls spent the entire day (much like we spend every other day), supporting each other and raising each other’s self esteem.

Loving the skin you are in needs to have more emphasis placed upon it. Too many girls are getting caught up on what they look like, rather than what is on the inside.

After my journey through self acceptance, I can freely wear no makeup to uni, I can post pictures wearing no makeup, I don’t spend hours on end each day worrying if the jeans I’m wearing are enhancing my butt or if my shirt makes my waist look thinner.

I have come to realise that true friends will stick by you, no matter what you look like. The boy that really loves you won’t care if you have no eyebrows without makeup on, or if a few blemishes are present.

Sure, it is totally okay to wear makeup on a daily basis, or to cake it up (this is typical of me when I wear it). But it stops becoming okay if you can’t deal with what is underneath. I can admit that I look completely different when I wear makeup (that’s why I wear it), but I am 100% comfortable with how I look either way.

The butterfly effect starts with you: stop shaming, and start embracing.