I am really happy to say that body positivity is starting to become a wide spread “thing” now. Even governments are recognizing the enormous strain that is put on both men and women to achieve perfection and the effect that it not only has on us, as adults but for children as well. While the change will be difficult I can personally say that the change will surprise you and bring you closer to truly knowing yourself without the mainstream garbage clouding your opinions and manipulating the way you see yourself. Here are four pointers to keep in mind.
Stop negative comments
Stop looking in the mirror and retorting social standards and unrealistic expectations. Take a moment to love yourself as you are. This includes both verbal and thoughts. If you have trouble doing this, tell yourself 5 things you love about yourself every morning and see if that gives you some pep in your step.
Stop encouraging body negativity
When your best friend starts body hating doesn’t encourage it. When she says “I look so fat in these jeans” don’t turn around and tell her she doesn’t (even though you really want to be reassuring) you’re only perpetuating the cycle. Either don’t comment or take this as an opportunity to include them in the self-loving movement. Suggest whenever she has a negative thought to replace it with a positive comment. This isn’t to say suppress your feelings, but rather to change your thought process by focusing on the good.
Be a role model (Do as you say)
Be positive around others and especially around youth. Showing that you are happy with yourself allows them to move away from the typical magazine and commercial ads depicting size zero models on every page and promo. (Not that there is anything wrong with being a size zero but we would like some diversity please and for heavens sakes stop photo-shopping everyone!) Realizing that people come in all shapes and sizes is important especially with the pressures of media on young children.
Dress the part
I know a lot of plus-size women like myself who at one point or another, when they became plus-size no longer knew how to dress themselves. One major issue is finding stores that sell in your size. Becoming body positive (and finding proper stores selling your size) will change the way you view yourself and often brings women into fashion frenzy. You learn to love your body and so you want to dress it with love as well with whatever your personal style might be. You might be asking yourself “what in the world is this lady talking about”, but when you love your body you will dress it with confidence and others will notice your confidence.
What I’m not saying
is that we are teaching people to want to be overweight (for all the naysayers out there) but there is no reason they or anyone should feel guilty about being the person they are and living in their own skin. Ideally we want everyone to be healthy, and whatever healthy means to each individual’s body may vary. Loving yourself allows you to better listen to your body’s needs and frees you from the socially oppressed guilt that we have succumbed to.
feature photo credit: Amanda Tipton