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16 Women share the body image issues they've always struggled with

I'm a community editor at SheKnows. I spend the rest of my time on Twitter, reading memoirs and fiction, hiking, painting and writing about things that rile me up.

Women get real about the body insecurities that have held them back

We all have insecurities about our bodies, but it's easy to forget that so does everyone else. I know I'm guilty of looking at other people who seem to have what I want (full, voluminous hair, the badass ability to do a handstand, an effortless sense of style) and assume they never struggle with self-consciousness toward their bodies. We asked our Experts community about their body insecurities and were surprised with the range of experiences — both insecurities they've conquered and ones they're still dealing with.

"The fact that I was so busy with my family this year (three kids aged 5 and under) precluded me from wearing my usual 'armor' (i.e., particular types of clothing, my go-to makeup, coloring my hair, wearing glasses over contacts, etc.). I was insanely insecure at first, but as the days passed, the 'need' to have/wear/slather passed (miraculously!), and I realized that many of the items/treatments I swore I could not leave the house without, have, happily, ceased to be necessities. I am still rather attached to my contacts and my favorite foundation, mascara and a few other products, but I feel like a bit of a new person. Being away from all the products I always believed I needed to use to feel beautiful actually helped me realize that I didn't need them at all." — Stephanie Bernaba

"As a teenager dealing with years of braces, my orthodontist told my parents the only way my treatment would be complete was if I had maxillofacial surgery to pull my lower jaw forward. We found out it would be covered by insurance and made an appointment with a surgeon to discuss the process. The surgeon said to me, "While we're fixing your jaw, we can fix your nose too!" The surgery never happened. Years went by before I lost my insecurity over my jaw and nose." — Kim Sutton

"I have worn glasses since I was 7 years old. They have always been a part of my face and, frankly, I feel naked if I don't have them on. When I was a child, my mother always insisted that I not wear my glasses in any school pictures. Even when I got married, she suggested I wear contacts instead of wearing my glasses. I'm 51 years old and I now will not ever take my glasses off for anyone, including my mother. She is 82 and now fighting having to wear glasses to see long distance. This has brought back some hurtful memories for me." — Margarita Ibbott

Women get real about the body insecurities that have held them back
Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

"I've always been insecure about my impetigo scars on my face. I've had them ever since I was a young child. Most of my life, I tried to hid them. Even at 41, I'm at times still insecure, but my scars make me who I am. I am learning to embrace them." — Amy Glass

"As an adult with acne you often feel unprofessional, unhealthy, unattractive, embarrassed and ashamed. What I learned through my own skin care journey is that acne did not cause these emotions, it merely amplified them. I discovered this after taking the powerful and harsh prescription drug Accutane, which, along with some serious side effects, dramatically cleared my skin. The happiness didn't last long, however, as a few short months later, I found myself just as insecure about other aspects of myself that previously hadn't bothered me. When the acne eventually came back, the path to my true healing began." — Brianne Grebil

"I have always struggled with a fear of being overweight, as I was 50 pounds overweight until I was 16 years old. Although I am in good shape now, I still struggle with seeing myself through a false lens and have to fight thoughts that tell me I am still 'fat' like I was as a young girl." — Jenna

"My insecurity is about my mother's hands. I remember seeing them when I was younger and thinking they looked so thick and old. Now, my hands look that way. Instead of seeing them as ugly, though, I now see them as an embodiment of strength. My mom works a manual-labor job, and her hands show the years of hard work she endured to raise two kids on her own. I'm proud to look like my mom in this small way." — Dianna Gardenhour

Women get real about the body insecurities that have held them back
Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

"Suffering three miscarriages made me doubt how much of a 'woman' I was. I viewed my body as my enemy for years until I began to see it for its beauty and individuality, instead of reducing it to its childbearing function." — A.C. Mims

Next: More body insecurities from our Expert community

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