Stylist Nikki J McFarlane discusses the link between fashion, body confidence, and mental health. 

There is so much talk about mental health at the moment and there are so many ways that it can affect you. Body confidence alone plays such a huge part. The more that everyone talks about it the greater impact it can have. Almost every single person out there suffers from some sort of body confidence problem, even someone who appears to have it altogether, trust me you are not alone in this.

Body confidence can go hand in hand with how we dress. I know this doesn’t happen in all cases but getting the fit and style of your outfits right can have a great impact on your body confidence.

If you dress for your personal style and body shape, chances are it’s going to increase your body confidence. I know this may not happen in all cases but I hope that this will help you start to change your whole outlook on body confidence, even if it is only slightly. The smallest step in the right direction is still a positive one. I hope it gives you some powerful information and you can use it as a stepping stone to get on the right track to loving yourself, because you are amazing in every single way.

I wanted to write this article to make everyone aware just how important body confidence is and how even just finding the right style can sometimes change your life. If you are a lover of fashion you will completely understand this. If you aren’t or just like it a little bit, you will probably be think what the hell is this loon on about. Please hear me out, don’t give up on me just yet.

Fashion can play a huge part in someone’s body confidence. People use it as a tool to take control and make their personality shine. Fashion and style can sometimes give you a whole new lease of life and can make your confidence soar. I totally get that fashion and style isn’t all the answers to tackling body confidence issues but it can help so many people. I love seeing a client’s face light up when they try something on that makes them look incredible, and it’s usually something that they would never select for themselves.

Giving someone fashion and style tips and outfit inspo is all well and good but if you aren’t feeling yourself no amount of these will help. There are so many tools and articles out there telling you how to love yourself. You could read a million of them and still look in the mirror and mentally pull yourself apart.

I’m not saying I can solve all your problems in one small article but if you use it as the first step, tenth step or however many you are on it can be a powerful tool. I also don’t believe that fashion will solve everything but it can help in a large number of instances. When you start to discover your true self and who you really are, fashion plays a part in this. Once you are comfortable with who you are (and don’t worry if you aren’t yet, you will get there and sadly it does sometimes come with age) you can start to show this through your style. This leads to you carrying yourself differently, which leads to compliments that then trickle back into your self-esteem making you feel amazing.

Body confidence comes from within and having great people around you is the first step to gaining just that. Having a great network of family and friends who support you and make you feel great are so important. Having friends and family that will be there for you during your highs and lows are hard to find. You need great people who stand by you and want to see you succeed in all that you do. I’m talking about those friends that will be honest with you, and are there for you no matter what. People around you can definitely affect how you feel and are the foundation in making you the person you are today. These friends could be local or even someone you have bonded with over social media (stay safe online though, I don’t want to see you appear on an episode of Catfish).

I have met a number of people via Instagram since I became a stylist and we all root for one another constantly even though we have never met. We comment on each others posts daily and it really gives you a boost. It’s great to know that strangers can sometimes be your number one fan. Having a stranger support, you is both amazing and completely crazy. Given that the majority of people on Instagram are actually strangers it really is a great thing when we support each other, and can have such an amazing impact on someone’s day, especially when someone has taken a while to put their post together.

Regardless of how many people you have cheering you on from the side-lines, it always comes down to you. You have to feel great when you look in the mirror. You have to feel amazing in that new outfit. You have to love yourself despite how many people love you, and trust me there is always more people than you know that love and adore you. You are enough and you are someone’s world.

While we are on the subject of social media can we please stop writing negative comments on people’s posts. If you don’t like something you see on social media unfollow them and move on. You don’t have to sit there and type up an abusive message just because you don’t like what they are wearing, or aren’t loving their body type. Newsflash they aren’t living their lives for your negative attitude. Think back to the times before social media we wouldn’t ring up a newspaper or magazine to abuse the person in an article so why do people think it’s acceptable to do it now?!! After hearing all these stories lately about people taking their own lives, I can not believe that people are still verbally attacking people behind a computer screen. It isn’t just a comment that gets forgotten about, it can have a devastating impact on someone’s life. I have had horrible comments said to my face probably over 15 years ago that I still think about now. People really don’t have the right to attack you with negative comments face-to-face or via social media. Enough is enough.

Thankfully most people have a network of people around them to make them see sense and these negative comments or thoughts about yourself aren’t true but this isn’t always the case. Let’s all be kind to one another. No one knows what anyone is going through. Make someone smile every single day. Do something nice for someone you know or even a stranger, or even just support one another with their choices.

If you or anyone you know are suffering with any mental health issues, not just body confidence, please know that there is help out there for everyone. You do matter and you are so important to the world and it would not be the same without you. Talk to family, friends or a professional. Someone is always there for you.

Visit these websites:
http://www.mind.org.uk/
http://www.samaritans.org

Nikki J Styling & Retail Design
http://nikkijstylingandretaildesign.co.uk
@NikkiJDesign

Images: Pexels.com & Unsplash.com

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