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Dressing up making you feel bad this Halloween?

It’s almost Halloween and dressing up is what it’s all about, an excuse to let everyone’s inner child loose and play pretend. But, it can become a bit stressful, with more pressure about how you look.

How or what to wear

Halloween decorations So, which look to go for? Scary or sexy? Funny or cute? No matter what you’re doing, heading to a party or out in town for the night a bit of creative effort is called for. Brilliant for some, but what if you don’t feel great about yourself, if your body image is pretty poor anyway.

Feeling judged

Even if you’re not entering a competition for your outfit, it can be pretty competitive out there, and we’re not just talking about Halloween anymore.

A recent Dáil na nÓg Council survey of young people and body image came out with some interesting, yet no so surprising results. Those questioned between the ages of 10 to 21 said that for girls peer pressure or comparing themselves to other girls had the largest negative impact on their body image. Bullying was deemed to have the most negative impact on boys’ body image.

Caring about your appearance

Our body image is made up of how we see ourselves, as well as how we think others see us. Sure, it’s a good thing to care about your appearance and when you do, should you not care what others think?

There is a limit though. Like everything else moderation is the key. When anything gets to a stage where it has a negative impact, something needs to be done.

Loving the skin you’re in

Feeling bad about how you look can be all consuming, and can interfere with your social life, not just at costume party time.

The good news is if you’ve negative body image, you can change it without changing your body. After all, the way you look is not who you are. Your physical appearance is just a small part of what you offer to the world.

If you’re happy with yourself, you won’t give yourself a hard time making comparison and what other people say matters less.

Changing those negative thoughts

Developing a positive body image can be hard work, but so worth it. Whenever you hear that little voice telling you you’re too fat, skinny, small, tall or have wonky something, stop it. It’s actually your voice so you can.

Learning to challenge negative self-talk is a skill for life, and starting it with how you think about your body is a good first step.

If you’re still thinking easier said than done, yes it is, no doubt about it. There are always going to people you compare yourself to. Unfortunately, there will also always be people who say something they shouldn’t about how you look. Just, remind yourself of people who are self-confident and comfortable in their skin (not cocky, but self-assured) and aren’t they just nicer to be around?

Catwoman, Wally, hobbit or zombie?

So, maybe start working on your body image by just having a bit of fun with your costume this Halloween and not taking it too seriously. Sure the bin bag and mask is still making an effort, right?

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