Body image

Here you’ll find answers to some common questions concerning body image.

Select the underlined questions below to see more.


Before girls and boys go through puberty they have quite similar bodies.  Some key things that happen in puberty include:

  • Girls grow breasts and their hips widen
  • Boys get broader shoulders, slimmer trunks, and start to grow facial hair
  • Girls and boys grow body hair
  • Girls and boys often get spots on their face and shoulders (a condition called acne)

In teenage years it is very normal to feel self-conscious about your appearance.  You spend more time thinking about your body image in teenage years than when you were younger and get more interested in what other people think of you too.  You start to compare your body image against how you view others.  This is normal and important part of growing up

Illustration by a young person to show we are all differentIt can be hard to know if you are having normal worries about your appearance or if you are having more of a tough time with it.  Everybody is different. It is very normal to dislike certain parts of the body, want to get into better shape and spend time making yourself look good (e.g. haircuts, makeup, buying new clothes).   

Answering the following questions can help you figure out if you might have a problem with your body image:

If you answered no to these questions, the chances are you don’t have a body image problem.  If you answered yes to these questions then you might find it helpful to go to the next section.

Problems with body image are quite common and seem to be getting more common with the introduction of social media (Instagram and the Selfie culture). 

 Teenage girls and boys are equally affected by body image problems. 

Top 5 tips to cope if I have worries about my body image?

As well as trying to change each of the behaviours listed in the ‘How does it get worse?’ picture in the Information section above, it can also be helpful to:

Select the buttons below to find out more…

Who can I talk to?

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Someone you trust at school
  • Youth worker
  • Health professional (GP; Counsellor Nurse)
  • Charities and Helplines

Select the underlined topics below to view what resources are available.

If you haven’t already found the help you’re looking for, you can find additional information and services which are more interactive here.

I would like to make a referral to Mental Health Services by completing the online referral form.

Select the underlined topics below to view what resources are available.