This won't really be advice, I'm not able to give advice because it's still something I struggle with. Maybe it can just stop people feeling alone if they have also felt it.
I think all the hate started when I was around twelve/thirteen. I think that's the common ages where you become body aware (puberty and everything). You leave primary school, you have your p7 dance where you don't care at all how big your boobs look or if your bum looks ok, you just really care about having a pretty dress. Then you enter high school and you become so self conscious that you didn't know it was possible to feel like that.
When I was in first year, thee most disgusting thing was going about Facebook. I think this happened at quite a lot of schools, I'm not entirely sure but I know it was going all over our school. 'Smack an arse day', anyone else remember this? And I'm pretty sure it went on for longer than a day. People could go about and smack people's asses and it was a big joke. I remember feeling UNBELIEVABLY uncomfortable, walking about with friends having to actually keep an eye out for the boys that were sneaking up on girls and touching them. All the boys were discussing and telling who had the best bum and who had no bum and stupid stupid things like that. If that isn't enough to start anyone feeling self conscious then I don't know what is.
Around second year/third year I was really into reading, school was easy so I had time to actually enjoy books (which I miss so much btw). I read your usual teen books. Teen books about teen problems. And alot of them were about depression and anorexia. There was one book in particular called 'winter-girls' and I was obsessed with it, I loved it. It was basically about two friends who helped each other get skinny, so skinny that people started talking about them. An unhealthy skinny. I don't know why but I really wanted to get skinny, dangerously skinny. I thought it looked really good. If I look back on some of my liked posts on 'tumblr' I can't actually believe that I aspired to get like that. To the point of bones basically. Girls with lovely clothes and nice hair, but with huge, spiky ribs, and sticks for legs. I got quite into calorie counting, I did manage to loose a bit of weight and by third year, I had a toned stomach and I had a better shape. However, having an hourglass figure, I couldn't get my legs to be skinny enough and that really made me a bit crazy.I was very very obsessive with SKINNY SKINNY SKINNY.
After third year though, everything changed a bit. I didn't start to love my body or anything, however the body I desired changed. Like now, everyone wants the hour glass shape. Everyone became gym obsessed, striving for that flat stomach and perfect round bum. I worked out and if I didn't I HATED myself. I spent a crazy amount of time on instagram and about 70% of the people I followed was because of their bodies. I can still be really bad for this but back then it was especially bad. Everyone started wearing bodycon stuff 24/7, so did I. I didn't think I could look good if my body wasn't on show and looking good. Sometimes I can still feel like this. I would NEVER eat the day off a party, I would eat like a banana at the most. That's probably why I could get so drunk so quick. My body needed to look good or else I did not want to go to the party at all. Or I would have to drink a lot quickly, before I want so that i wouldn't care as much.
I actually skipped lunch for a year or more because I needed to stay thin. In the picture at the top of the text I was not in a happy place, yea I look good but I was being completely driven by negative thoughts and self-loathing. For years I believed that boys would only talk to me and listen to me if I looked good. Because a lot of the time that can be true. The secret is to avoid these people, they don't matter.
I still skip dinner and sometimes lunch before a night out now. Its stupid and wrong and my stomach may be in pain because I'm so hungry but it makes me feel better on the night, so I do it. I hope that one day I'll feel comfortable enough to stop but I'm proud of how far I've come since seven years ago. I sometimes feel really sick when I can grab my stomach, like I'll be going to sleep and if I can grab a bit of my stomach I struggle to sleep and get really uncomfortable, and I'm trying to work on that.
Since going to uni I've stopped feeling the same amount of pressure, I actually believe people want to talk to me because they think I'm interesting and that my personality ACTUALLY MEANS SOMETHING. So I'm trying to realise that my personality is the ONLY thing that matters.
So I hope everyone's doing ok on their body journey's.