What is Body Positivity?
‘You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self love and self care.’ – Jessica Ortner
Body positivity is a term that’s being used to describe how people feel about what they see when they look in the mirror. However, body positivity is also the mental image you have of yourself that could involve the shape, size, and physical appearance of your body. The thoughts and feelings that we have about ourselves are so powerful that they can push us
forward or pull us down.
In recent years, there has been a body positivity movement to encourage people to love their bodies, love what their body can do for them, and how every physical attribute makes us all so unique. Being body positive does not mean that you think or feel that your body is perfect. It simply means you have accepted yourself the way that you are and are no longer harshly criticizing yourself for your flaws. In this blog, we will discuss ways to develop a positive body image that will directly boost your self-esteem.
Ways to achieve Body Positivity
One of the first things to consider as you strive to become a more body positive person are some of the things that made you feel negative about your body in the first place. Family opinions, comparing yourself to friends, and the images that you see on social media and television may influence the way you feel about yourself. We have all these things in our mind that can cause the image of ourselves to become blurred and filled with negativity. There are literally hundreds of ways to achieve body positivity but here are (4) really helpful steps to get you started:
- Instead of focusing on what you see in others, focus on what you love about yourself and your body
- See yourself as a whole person. It’s easy to think of your imperfections and believe that everyone is seeing you for that part of yourself. You have so much more to offer than your physical body.
- Practice positive affirmations. You can use sticky notes, write in your journal, or recite kind things to yourself while looking in the mirror.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. There is no other human being on the planet that looks, thinks, or feels the same as you. Think about how unique you and your body are and surround yourself with positive people.
Unlearning Body Shame
We cannot talk about body positivity without addressing how we got this negative view of ourselves in the first place. Body shaming can be defined as speaking negatively about your body or body parts, calling yourself things such as fat, ugly, etc. Body shame also involves allowing others to speak negatively about your body and accepting those things as truths. There are ways that you can unlearn some of the bad habits that have caused you to feel bad about who you are on the outside and on the inside. As you begin to unlearn body shaming and embrace yourself physically and mentally you will see a positive boost in your self-esteem, confidence, and ability to show up in the world. Here are three tips to unlearning body shame:
- Positive Self Talk When we acknowledge all the bad things we’ve said about ourselves we can exchange that negativity to complimenting ourselves. Every chance you get you should say something nice about yourself. For example instead
of saying, ‘I’m fat’ try saying, ‘My weight does not define me.’
- Playing Dress Up Body shaming does not make us feel like our bodies are worthy, which may make us shy away from wearing certain things. Practice body positivity by wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and happy. Dress up for no reason, your body deserves to be celebrated!
- Detach from Criticism It’s important to get to the root of your negative feelings about yourself. Maybe it has come from criticisms from others that you have attached to yourself. Try writing down a few negative things people have said about
you or your body. Beside each negative statement you can cross it out and write something positive. Don’t accept insults about your body, even if it’s in a joking manner. Use your words and find a kind way to shut down body shaming.
Positive Body, Positive Mind
As you embrace your body you will see positive things start to happen in your mind. Begin to think of your body as your home because it is, you live in it and it has carried you throughout your entire life. Be grateful for your body because you only get one. This is how we began to understand how powerful and amazing our bodies are. We can’t go buy a new one like we would a bike, car, house or anything else that breaks down over time. We don’t outgrow our bodies how we outgrow old clothes, instead our body grows with us as we get older. When we think of all the things our bodies do for us we become more body positive.
Always remember that there are a lot of things you can change, but many things you must accept. As far as physical attributes we cannot get rid of our complexion, hair type, birthmarks, etc. because these are our unique markings, that don’t define us but make us different. Our thoughts shape our reality so truly give yourself a chance by practicing a Positive Mind, Positive Body approach.