I really can’t stand how small my butt is. How can I make it look bigger?

You are far from alone. It’s completely normal to be unhappy with or want to change your body. Celebrities, models and #fitspo stars often create unrealistic expectations about how you should look. Even “plus-size” (in quotes because the average woman in the USA wears sizes 16-18, so you can’t really call size 8 models plus size!) models often wear padding to give them more exaggerated curves.

Everyone’s bodies are different in 100 million ways, but unfortunately mainstream media usually doesn’t show the wide range of those bodies. What’s considered “attractive” changes depending on the time and society. Big butts are everywhere in pop culture right now, so you may feel the need to have a big butt in order to look good or be “desirable.” This is far from the truth, though. What people find attractive is as varied as bodies themselves.

Learning to accept (and even love) the body you’re in is really hard for many people, especially if you’re trans, queer, disabled, “plus size,” a person of color, or otherwise don’t fit society’s current beauty standards. Concentrate on the parts of your body that you like, whether it’s your hair, eyes, fingers, arms, waist, breasts, nose, or anything else. Think about what your body does for you, rather than the way it looks. Maybe it lets you go dance, play basketball, walk to school, or touch your toes.  Bodies are pretty amazing! We talk more about ways you can learn to love your body here.

You may also find that wearing certain types of clothes make you feel more comfortable and confident in who you are. Maybe this is because they emphasize a part of your body that you like, are your favorite color, are super comfy, make your butt look bigger, or just make you feel more like you. Also keep in mind that your body will continue to change over your life, and may not look the same in a few years. This is especially true if you are in your teens, or haven’t gone through puberty yet.

If you feel bad about how you look most of them time or frequently fixate on how your butt looks, talk to a trusted adult, like a parent or other family member, caregiver, teacher, or guidance counselor. Even just opening up to a friend about how you’re feeling can help you feel a lot better. If this doesn’t help, though, consider talking to a therapist. Lots of people think therapists are only for people who have a mental illness, but therapists are actually for anyone who wants to work through how they’re feeling, or to grow as a person!

If you’re 10-22 years old and live near NYC, you’ll be welcome at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center for free, comprehensive, confidential, non-judgmental health care, including therapy. Call (212) 423-3000 to make an appointment.