Over the past few years, there’s been a whole lot of talk about body positivity. But no matter how much you know about it, there’s always a few reminders that you’ll need along the way.
What actually is body positivity?
In a nutshell, the body positivity movement is all about accepting and embracing both ourselves and our bodies – as well as that of other people too. Everyone is different, so it’s important to remember that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, that everyone should feel good about themselves regardless of what their body looks like.
Although many people may think that body positivity is all about your size, it’s far more than that (although, remember that a person’s size isn’t an indicator of their health, so don’t make assumptions on someone based on their size or weight). It’s about accepting and embracing each of your features, anything that may make you feel as if you’re different.
So, how do I become more positive about my body?
This isn’t going to be something that happens overnight, unfortunately, but there are some things you can do to start becoming more positive about your body, and other’s too.
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I know this can be easier said than done, but accepting yourself, your body and your features is a big step in being more body positive. You don’t have to be happy about every part of your body every single day, but it’s good to accept yourself as you are, including any features you have that you think are different. At the end of the day, as cheesy as it sounds, it’s what makes you you.
Acknowledge that everyone is different
Although every day we see images of people who may have “perfect” bodies, that’s simply not the case. It may sound like a cliché, but in reality, everyone is different. People are different shapes, different sizes, with different backgrounds and a different way of thinking. Realising and acknowledging that everyone is different is a big step in the body positivity movement, even if half the people you follow on Instagram almost look the same.
Focus on what makes you feel good
Some people can pair eating well and exercising with diets and looking good. But if you’re eating well and getting exercise, you’re going to feel a lot better. So instead of doing these things to change how you look, focus on how they make you feel instead. Caring for your body is always going to be a priority, so think of what your body needs, rather than just what it looks like.
Stand up for others who look ‘different’
People who are judged because of their bodies can face a lot of discrimination in their day to day lives, which isn’t fair or called for. No matter what you look like, you shouldn’t be judged for that. So, if you are someone who has never experienced this, it’s important to stand up for those who have. Whether it’s comments about trans people, fat people, disabled people or others, if you hear negative comments about them for those around you, call them out and explain why it’s not okay.
While the body positivity has done a lot, regarding our culture around dieting, fat-shaming and discrimination, it isn’t 100% inclusive and still has a bit to go. Lately, the movement has been criticised is becoming less inclusive (the exact opposite of its intention) as slim, white people are usually pushed to the forefront of a body positivity campaign.
Remember that whatever brands or companies may tell you, the body positivity movement is all about people being comfortable with who they are and normalising bodies of every shape, colour and sex.