Body Image

This blog post was written by Jo Fitzsimmons, a member of the SelfharmUK Team.

I literally don’t know anyone who looks in the mirror every day and says to themselves...

“Wow, I look great!”

do you?

Our bodies are incredible – they allow us to move, enjoy food, laugh, cry, dance, draw, sing, think, sleep; they are incredibly complex. We have 27 emotions that we feel; we think up to 80,000 thoughts a day; we are made up of electric impulses, chemicals, tiny nerves, muscles, tendons and 79 different organs!

We are complex for sure!!

And yet, this body that is so complex, so intricate, so finely balanced that it can feel like our enemy at times.


Perhaps we don’t feel ‘at home’ in our body?

Perhaps we feel trapped inside this shape we are in?

Perhaps our body doesn’t work in the same way as others?



The reality is, at times, we all (yup, every single one of us) feels like this.

We feel frustrated at our body (it doesn’t work right), we might dislike this outer shell of our body that ‘traps’ these thoughts and feelings, we might feel angry at how we look, we might feel scared of the strength of feelings encompassed inside us…

Take a minute:

Sit still. Breathe.

How incredible is that? Your body, that you might not be keen on, allows you to breathe oxygen which gives you life.

Look at your hands.

Check out those tiny hairs, your finger nails…think how tiny they once were…Think about the last hand you held, the comfort that was…Hands link us to those we love; our body links us to those we love.

Find one part of your body that you are most comfortable with - perhaps your legs? Maybe your elbows? Your back?

Look at it. Think about your that is woven together and connected to all your body. Our body functions as it is linked together – tendons, sinews, organs, nerve endings, microbes, white cells, red blood cells.

This is incredible stuff, and yet….we mostly just only look at our own face in the mirror because that’s the bit we think everyone else notices and judges us on…

How crazy is that!? 

We have just reflected on how complex, intricate and awesome our body is and yet we define ourselves (our 80,000 daily thoughts, 27 emotions, our skilled life giving body) by a few inches of our face (where our nose is positioned in relation to our eyes; if one ear is slightly higher than the other...) 

There is no such thing as body perfection. Not in real life.

Instagram might make us think everyone else is perfect. They aren’t.

We ARE unqiue, we are complex, our body is capable of allowing us to feel, think, laugh, cry, love – try and give your body the respect it is due.



Alumina is a free, online 7 week course for young people struggling with self-harm. Each course has up to 8 young people, all accessing the sessions from their own phones, tablets or laptops across the UK. The courses take place on different evenings of the week and are run by friendly, trained counsellors and volunteer youth workers. You don’t need an adult to refer you or sign you up, and no-one will see or hear you during the sessions – you’ll just join in via the chatbox. We want to help you to find your next steps towards recovery, wherever you are on your journey.

Find out more