Society tends to be cruel to most teens, who are struggling to understand their own wants and needs while learning the rules and expectations of their culture. As a result, too many teens develop damaging and dangerous body image issues, which can impact everything from the clothes they wear to the way they behave around other people.
One of the biggest indications of body insecurity in teens is an unwillingness to wear shorts. Shorts tend to be revealing, showing not just a person’s skin but the shape of their lower body. However, during the warm summer months, shorts can be both fashionable and functional — at least more-so than long, stifling pants and skirts. Teens struggling with a lack of confidence while wearing shorts can overcome this issue with the following tricks.
Find Shorts You Love
No one ever feels confident in clothing that doesn’t suit their personal style or aesthetic. Thus, the mandatory first step for developing confidence in shorts is finding a pair that a teen likes, even loves. Many teens might not feel comfortable picking out clothing for themselves when shopping with parents or friends, who might try to influence their choices. Teens should consider spending time shopping for shorts on their own, so they can assess their options for women’s shorts and tap into their own, unique feelings. It is important that teens try on different styles and sizes to find a pair that makes them smile and allows them to feel excited about the shorts outfits they might wear in the future.
Wear Shorts in Private
Most people feel more comfortable practicing skills in private before they use those skills in public. For example, musicians will spend time alone and with private tutors before they will play their instruments on stage; politicians will recite their speeches in bathroom mirrors before delivering their addresses in front of crowds.
Similarly, teens need time to grow and practice confidence in private. Alone in their room or around their home, teens should be able to wear their shorts without comment or ridicule. In doing so, teens can experiment with different ways of moving, standing, sitting, and talking to find ways of being that allow them to feel comfortable, cool, and in control. At the very least, wearing shorts in private will allow teens to grow accustomed to the look and feel of their bare legs, which is a beneficial step toward showing bare legs in public.
Practice a Mantra
Some people who suffer from insecurities manage to increase their confidence through the use of mantras. A mantra is a syllable, word or phrase that one repeats to help focus thoughts on a specific concept. Mantras are most often used in meditation, but they can help guide thoughts away from harmful patterns outside of meditation, as well. For teens struggling with their thoughts and emotions while they wear shorts, some mantras like these might be helpful:
- I will not listen to the negative voices in my head.
- I am grateful for everything my body allows me to do.
- I will not compare myself to anyone else.
- My body is my home and I will build it up, not tear it down.
- I will treat my body with love and respect.
- I love the person staring back at me in the mirror.
Invest in Cute Shoes
Shorts do not have to be the focus of an outfit. In fact, shorts tend to be a relatively bland article of clothing, and the right accessories can easily distract and enchant viewers and even wearers. Shoes, in particular, impact the look and feel of an outfit much more than shorts do. Teens should put effort into finding footwear that fits their personal aesthetic and boosts their confidence even further. Because footwear can last a decade or more when properly cared for, teens who are no longer growing should be allowed to invest in a few more expensive pairs of shoes that they will get plenty of use out of.
Care for Your Legs
When someone puts time and energy into caring for a part of themselves, they often want that part to be seen and appreciated. Thus, teens who care for the look, feel and function of their legs are less likely to feel self-conscious in shorts and are more likely to be eager to show off this part of their body.
There are several ways teens can care for their legs in meaningful and visible ways. The first is exercise, which can help tone the muscles and provide the legs with an attractive shape. Strength training exercises, like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and step-ups using weights or resistance, will build muscle, and cardio exercises, like jogging or stair-climbing, can reduce bloating and trim fat — though it is important to remember that the body needs fat to be healthy, and some bodies need more fat than others. Additionally, teens can consider investing shower time in exfoliating and perhaps depilating, and they can moisturize their legs to improve the skin’s suppleness and shine.
Even grown adults sometimes struggle with confidence in shorts, so it makes sense that many teens are wary of this article of clothing. However, there are benefits to wearing shorts in the summertime — and there are more benefits to finding the confidence to wear any outfit.