Already Prettypoll: Your Support Network

We all have days when we feel discouraged about and frustrated with our bodies. There are many important ways to look inside, reflect a bit, and find ways to work towards more positive feelings and thoughts on our own. But it can also be incredibly helpful to turn to loved ones, friends, and family for support.

Who supports you when you’re feeling upset or discouraged about your physical self or personal style? To whom do you turn when you need help or encouragement? Does anyone in your life rely on YOU for this kind of support?

  • Bree Bronson

    I have a best friend who is super important to me. We turn to each other when we’re dealing with these things. And she really is the only one I can turn to. If I would open that kind of discussion with my husband or mom I would just end up feeling worse. Sad but true.

  • Roxane

    My partner is my primary support at those times. We share similar fitness goals and similar struggles with motivation and bodies that aren’t as young and resilient as they used to be. He always thinks I’m sexy. And, as he’s learned about women’s fashion, he’s become the one I can ask if a new outfit, color combo, or pattern combo works. He knows that if I ask if something is flattering that it’s not a trap or trick question and he’ll give me an honest answer. (The one thing I can’t ask him to judge is whether a date-night outfit is too body hugging. He doesn’t think that’s possible.)

  • Brigitte

    I’m close to a group of women who have all made a commitment to healthy living, and for us that means working on accepting our bodies but also making the best decisions for making or keeping them healthy. We created ourselves a secret group on Facebook where members can vent on hard days (and celebrate on good ones) and get support from the other members of the group. Everyone’s come to the group after being invited by real-life friends, so while we’re split all over the country, and even if we haven’t all met in real-life, I think we all feel close. It’s been around a few years, and at first, it had a strong focus on weight-loss, but it’s morphed over the last 18 months into something much bigger and much better, now concentrating on health rather than weight loss, and healthy minds and not just healthy bodies. I love that group.

    From a style perspective, I probably turn to my husband the most. He’s got a good eye for style, and while we don’t agree fully on everything (for example, he hates wedge shoes while I think they’re cute and comfy), he can be counted on for an honest opinion on an outfit and for advice on switching it up. He also always remembers a few good outfits that he liked me in, and when I stand in front of the closet in just my underwear, ready to cry in frustration at having “nothing” to wear, he’s good at calming me down and reminding me of that nice red dress in the back of the closet, that new scarf I bought a few weeks back and still haven’t worn, or those pretty earrings that bring out my eyes, and suddenly, I have something to wear!

  • Jessica Schiermeister

    Not only does my boyfriend try to lift me back up when I’m down on myself (by not only complimenting me, but also by reminding me to be humble), but I have a group of girlfriends from undergraduate who are the epitome of self-lovers. They are always so positive about their own self-images that it is hard NOT to be inspired by them constantly.

  • Reading (and chickens)

    I think it helps to have a partner that will tell you you look hot no matter if you’re wearing PJs with crazy hair and no makeup, or dressed to the nines. That helps me know that when I get dressed up, it’s for ME, not for anyone else.

  • Rachel HB

    I try to remind myself that nothing in my life would fundamentally change if I wore a different size. My friends and family would love me the same, I’d still be doing the same things with my career, I’d still be excited to garden and cook and knit, I’d still love to hike, etc. I would still be same person. It’s just that my pants would fit a little differently– and at the end of the day it’s just not that big of a deal. This approach might not work for everyone, but on the days when my skirt is just a bit tight or I start feeling crummy about the shape of my belly it usually does the trick.

    Our bodies are also meant to change over time– there is no reason I should expect to have the same figure at 34 that I did when I was a teenager! The media will try to convince you otherwise, and for me this is where fashion blogs have made a huge difference in how I dress my body. There is SO much creativity and sartorial inspiration coming from ladies (and fellas) of all shapes and sizes and ages. I find that I enjoy the process of dressing myself SO much more now than when my inspiration was limited to fashion magazines and the mall!

  • Sarah

    I don’t really have anyone, other than my husband, who is awesomely supportive and has a great sense of style. He is, however, away a lot.

    I’ve cultivated a nicely inspiring pinterest board for when I need motivation, and a number of blogs (such as this one!) that I read when I’mf eeling down on myself. Actually, I read them all the time to try to stave off the feeling!

    I don’t have many women in my life, and those I do have have different views on on fashion, health, body image, etc, than I do and I find I can’t turn to them in times of need.

  • Sam

    My gym ladies. We’re all there for a reason — i.e. we’re trying to change *something* about our bodies, whether that be strength, size or shape — but we build each other up about our hair, clothes, boobs (ahaha), skin, etc. We keep it pretty body-positive; not many comments about weight loss.

  • Jen

    I have a husband who tells me I’m dead sexy often. Just this morning when I looked into the mirror and muttered something about being a hot mess he strolled in and told me how great I looked (wasn’t in there for the hot mess comment!). The best part is that he genuinely means it. I could wear a potato sack and he would be blown away. Knowing he loves me with all my perceived flaws makes me feel more confident on the days I am lacking my own confidence. I also have an adoring son who thinks I’m “awful pretty.” Any time we get ready for an event he gasps with delight over a dress or fancy shoes. He thinks I’m royalty! Over the course of the last ten years I have become comfortable and confident in my own skin for the most part. I do have days when I feel lacking, but having such wonderful guys in my life helps immensely.

    • VaMarcy

      Inadvertently, I reached for the ‘like’ button…but there’s none! This is so sweet and precious! Thank you for sharing your wonderful guys’ comments–you are blessed!

  • Kat

    It sounds terrible to say but I can’t turn to my best friend. She’s quick to give me a compliment but she’s obsessed with what she does and doesn’t eat. Sometimes I worry she’s developing an eatin disorder. It always makes me feel worse to talk to her and I don’t know how to approach the subject with her.

  • Allison

    While my husband and friends are supportive, my best inspiration for feeling good about my imperfect body is my own health history. After being diagnosed with a very dangerous cancer a few years ago, it doesn’t take much for me to get over myself when I start feeling crappy about my belly or my thighs. I mean, look at my bad self, all alive and sh*t.

  • Meep

    I’ll make this a literal reply and answer your questions in order: no one. I really don’t have anyone for general help or encouragement, either. Certainly no one relies on me for that kind of support – that’s usually a mutual thing, isn’t it?

    I may be thin, but I am friendless in this world, Sal.

  • Cynthia

    It’s really funny, now that I’m in my mid-40s, my only body frustrations have to do with whether everything works — should I do something about that hip pain? Do I have a wheat allergy? Would I feel better if I stopped drinking coffee? Etc. I have a buddy at work who shares the wheat problem and she’s the one I often talk to if I’m feeling crappy — I haven’t totally eliminated it yet because I’m working through to a diagnosis. I also talk to my sister, who is a few years younger but shares similar physiology with me, of course.

    When it comes to style check-ins, the interwebs are my friends. I kind of miss style blogging consistently and I’m thinking about picking it up again.