Hey there, gorgeous! Today, we will discuss a topic near and dear to my heart: body positivity. You may have heard this term before, but what does it mean?
Body positivity is about loving and accepting your body, regardless of shape or size.
For too long, society has told us that there’s only one “perfect” body type and that anything else is unacceptable. But the truth is, everybody is beautiful in their way. Body positivity is about challenging these harmful beauty standards and promoting self-love and acceptance.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into body positivity, why it’s important, and how you can start practicing it in your own life. So please grab a cup of tea, get cozy, and let’s get started!
What is Body Positivity? A Brief Explanation
Body positivity is a movement that promotes the idea that all bodies are valuable and worthy of love and respect, regardless of their size, shape, color, or ability. It’s about embracing your body and recognizing that everyone’s body is unique and deserves to be celebrated.
Body positivity is not about promoting obesity or unhealthy habits, as some people may think.
It’s about accepting and loving your body as it is while also striving to take care of it in a way that feels good for you. It’s about recognizing that health comes in many shapes and sizes and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness.
Body positivity is also about challenging the unrealistic beauty standards often perpetuated by the media and society.
It’s about recognizing that there is no “perfect” body type and that everyone is beautiful in their way. By embracing body positivity, we can learn to love ourselves and others for who we are rather than what we look like.
Finally, body positivity is about inclusivity and diversity. It’s about recognizing that people of all genders, races, ages, and abilities can struggle with body image issues. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident in their skin.
Why is Body Positivity Important?
Mental Health Benefits
Body positivity is important because it can significantly impact our mental health. Accepting and loving our bodies makes us more likely to have positive self-esteem and confidence. This can lead to a greater sense of happiness and overall well-being.
On the other hand, negative feelings about our bodies can lead to feelings of shame, anxiety, and depression.
Body positivity can also help us develop a healthier relationship with food and exercise.
When we embrace our bodies, we are less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like restrictive diets. Instead, we can focus on nourishing our bodies with healthy foods and engaging in physical activity that feels good and enjoyable.
Physical Health Benefits
Body positivity is important not just for our mental health but also for our physical health.
When we have a negative body image, we may be more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, drinking alcohol, and not getting enough sleep. These behaviors can hurt our physical health and increase our risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
On the other hand, when we have a positive body image, we are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors like eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. These behaviors can positively impact our physical health and help us live longer healthier lives.
How to Practice Body Positivity
Self-Love and Acceptance
Body positivity starts with self-love and acceptance. It is important to appreciate your body for all it does for you rather than focusing on its flaws.
A great way to practice self-love is by looking in the mirror and saying positive affirmations to yourself. You can also try writing down things you love about yourself and your body.
Another important aspect of self-love is accepting your body as it is. We all have imperfections, and that’s okay!
Instead of changing your body to fit society’s standards, focus on accepting and loving yourself just as you are.
Mindful eating is about listening to your body and giving it what it needs. This means eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. It also means choosing foods that make you feel good and nourish your body.
One way to practice mindful eating is by paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Ask yourself if you’re truly hungry before reaching for a snack, and stop eating when you feel satisfied. You can also try eating without distractions, such as your phone or TV, to help you focus on your body’s signals.
Physical activity is important to body positivity, but it’s not about punishing your body with intense workouts. Instead, focus on finding activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good. This could be anything from dancing to hiking to yoga.
Don’t compare yourself to others or push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
Here’s a little tip and something I like to do to stay positive; you can apply this to yourself and your body positivity.
Positive Vibes Jar
- Get a jar and decorate it with colorful markers, stickers, or anything you like.
- Cut small pieces of paper and write down positive affirmations, motivational quotes, or anything that makes you happy.
- Fill the jar with these positive notes.
- Whenever you feel down, randomly pick a note from the jar and read it aloud.
- Repeat this as often as you need to boost your mood and remind yourself of all the good things in your life.
Congratulations, you just completed a self-love practice! Remember to return to this activity whenever you need a little boost of self-confidence and positivity. You are amazing, and don’t forget it!
Challenges in Body Positivity
Society makes us feel we must look a certain way to be accepted. From the media we consume to the people we surround ourselves with, it’s hard to escape the pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards.
This pressure can be especially intense for women, people of color, and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
It’s important to remember that these beauty standards are arbitrary and constantly changing. What’s considered beautiful today might not be tomorrow. We must challenge these standards and work towards a more inclusive definition of beauty.
Even when we reject societal pressure, it can be hard to shake off our negative thoughts about ourselves. We might look in the mirror and see flaws that no one notices or obsess over a number on the scale.
It’s important to recognize that these negative thoughts aren’t our fault. They’ve been ingrained in us by a society that profits from our insecurities. But we can work to change the way we think about ourselves.
Surrounding ourselves with positive messaging and practicing self-care can help us cultivate a more positive self-image.
Body positivity isn’t just about accepting ourselves; it’s about accepting everyone. We need to recognize that different people face different challenges regarding body image.
Women of color, for example, might face different beauty standards than white women. People with disabilities might face additional challenges regarding accessibility and representation.
It’s important to be inclusive in our definition of body positivity and recognize that everyone’s experiences are valid. We must work towards a world where everyone feels comfortable and confident in their skin.
Here’s a table of Body Positive Influencers to Follow on Social Media:
|Ashley Graham||Lizzo is a musician and body-positive activist who promotes self-love and confidence through her music and social media. She encourages her followers to embrace their bodies and celebrate their uniqueness.|
|Megan Crabbe||Chidera Eggerue is an author and body-positive advocate who promotes self-love and body acceptance. She is the creator of the #SaggyBoobsMatter movement and encourages women to embrace their natural bodies.|
|Lizzo||TikTok||Chidera Eggerue is an author and body-positive advocate who promotes self-love and body acceptance. She is the creator of the #SaggyBoobsMatter movement and encourages women to embrace their natural bodies.|
|Chidera Eggerue||Chidera Eggerue is an author and body-positive advocate who promotes self-love and body acceptance. She is the creator of the #SaggyBoobsMatter movement and encourages women to embrace their natural bodies.||Chidera Eggerue is an author and body positive advocate who promotes self-love and body acceptance. She is the creator of the #SaggyBoobsMatter movement and encourages women to embrace their natural bodies.|
- “The Effect of Weight Stigma on Health” by Rebecca M. Puhl and Chelsea A. Heuer (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866597/)
- National Eating Disorders Association (https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/)
- Association for Size Diversity and Health (https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/)
- “The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women” by Naomi Wolf:
- Link: https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Myth-Images-Against-Women/dp/0060512180
- “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body” by Roxane Gay:
- Link: https://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Memoir-Body-Roxane-Gay/dp/0062362593
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