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23 July 2021, 11:55 | Updated: 23 July 2021, 11:58
Honey Ross has said we can all heal our relationships with our bodies this summer.
While the UK is finally easing out of lockdown, the past 18 months have been tough on everyone.
And with endless zoom calls, isolation and lack of social contact, it’s no surprise that many of us are feeling less confident about our appearance than we did before.
In fact, research by dating app Bumble has found that three quarters of women feel under pressure to change the way they look this summer.
According to the study, over half (58%) of people under the age of 34 are also now more concerned with what other people think about the way they look.
So, in a bid to help people feel more confident, Bumble has partnered with body confidence activist and co-host of the Body Protest podcast Honey Ross.
Along with body image researcher at the Centre for Appearance Research, Nadia Craddock, the pair have given their top tips to help people feel less anxious about their bodies.
“It’s so important to talk about yourself in a positive way,” Honey told us at Heart.co.uk.
“Even if you feel negatively about yourself but speak positively about yourself, your brain is working double time to go ‘well if she’s saying that, I should probably work hard to make it match on the inside’.
“It’s incredible how your body image can change and you can heal that relationship with yourself.”
With so much pressure around appearance, research shows that poor body image can cause disordered eating, eating disorders, depression and low confidence.
“But body image is about that internal relationship with your body, not about how your body looks," Nadia said.
“So to help yourself, it is about doing that internal work, there are so many things you can do to get there.”
Reducing body bashing and changing how you talk to your friends and family is a good place to start, while adapting how you use social media can also provide a break.
“If you know looking at your phone first thing in the morning at people who look like supermodels is making you feel bad, maybe that’s something you need to reevaluate,” Nadia told us.
Honey went on to explain how you can personalise your Instagram to exactly what you want to look at.
“You can curate your social media to be your dream magazine full of everything you wish you’d seen as a teenager,” she said.
“It’s just about exposing yourself to ideas of beauty that you weren’t necessarily shown and that broaden your horizons.
“There’s so much diverse beauty out there and there’s so much to celebrate and the fact that we’re able to have that space is brilliant.
“Social media doesn’t have to be a place that is full of dread.”
But if social media isn’t making you feel good, Nadia adds that it can help to turn your phone off for a while.
“For me, getting outside helps and connecting with nature, connecting with friends and being really present with who I am," she said.
“It’s important to remember that I’m more than just what I look like, which is sometimes really easy to forget.”