I started my life as a happy, chubby kid with freckles, frizzy hair, and teeth that desperately needed dental work. But to be honest, I loved myself. I loved how fast I could run. How I could spend all day at school with my friends laughing and making art with my favorite teachers. But, like so many women, at some point, there was a period of transformation. During my early teen years, I was told or felt that my body was “flawed” in some way. The images I saw in magazines, movies, and music videos, were very different than what I saw in the mirror. Whether it happened consciously or unconsciously, I judged myself based on the status quo of what I thought was beautiful: Small, white, thin, and cisgender.
Luckily, there is so much positive change happening in 2020. Like the body positive movement. One, is the complex shift and evolution for companies and brands to start showcasing larger bodies that break our idealization of what true beauty looks like. This radical self-love movement, coined as the body positivity movement introduced the concept that loving yourself, just the way you are, is well… cool. Not only is it cool, it’s important for your mental health, creates positive ripple effects, and increases your own self confidence. Thanks to social media, outspoken celebrities, and fashion designers who are embracing larger silhouettes, the celebration of larger figures and body positivity continues to evolve.
Yes, the conditioning we all have to be small and perfect runs pretty deep. We still live in a crazy culture where it’s seen as normal to diet and to dislike our bodies, but, body positivity is about making peace with your body and loving yourself, just the way you are.
In this blog, we are going to break down what it means to be body positive and how to be body positive and apply the radically beautiful principles of body positivity to enhance your own health and happiness.
What Is The Body Positivity Movement?
Boiled down, the body positivity movement is all about celebrating all bodies and abilities. And by celebrating bodies and abilities I mean ALL bodies and abilities. Not just thin bodies or physically able bodies or cisgender bodies or white bodies. Up until very recently, images of body hair, fat, curves, dimples, scars, and stretch marks were completely left out of what the mainstream deemed as beautiful. Thanks to the body positivity movement, the definition of “beautiful’ is expanding to include images it once excluded. People are finally acknowledging that EVERY single kind of body deserves equal love, representation, and appreciation.
So how to be body positive? By expanding the representation of different types of bodies and abilities, every industry! Virtually every industry is embracing the body positivity movement and is totally on board with expanding the definition of what is beautiful. From beauty, fashion, wellness, fitness, to even politics, people are waking up to the idea that body positivity is a huge opportunity to spread love! For example, Nike used size-inclusive mannequins on its showroom floor (much to the dismay of angry folks on the internet) and guess what? The tights featured on the mannequin had a 200% increase in clicks . Hundreds of other companies have gone back to the drawing board to make their products, marketing, and models more size inclusive.  The result? When we as a society see more size diversity around us, the more we can appreciate and love every type of body, including our own!
Remember, celebrating your body has nothing to do with promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s simply accepting and loving the way that you’re built. Pretty revolutionary, right? Accepting and celebrating your body, no matter what state it’s in is BRAVE. Because it means that you can give yourself a break. There is nothing you need to change or fix or become. You are enough!
What Does It Mean To Be Body Positive?
Explain the personal-level attached to becoming more body positive. What does that look like? What does it mean for a woman to be “body positive”?
On the most basic level, body positivity is the notion that every single body is a “good” body. There are no “bad” or “flawed” bodies, and every type of body is beautiful. So what does it mean for a woman to be body positive? Essentially it comes down to two very simple behaviors and mental attitudes: To be body positive you need to 1.) love your body and 2.) accept your body just the way it is.
Keep in mind that body positivity isn’t just a cool buzzword or a social movement. On a deep personal level, body positivity is a frame of mind. It’s a positive mentality that you have to cultivate day after day. It’s all about how you feel in your body, regardless of what size you are. Think about it: There are women who are a size 2 that are extremely uncomfortable in their skin, and then there are women who are a size 22 that are absolutely fearless and unapologetic. What does this teach us? That one of the essential aspects of the body positivity movement is inclusivity. And that means celebrating and accepting all sizes.
So what does it mean to become body positive? If you’re reading this and nodding your head like, “heck yes, I love this notion of body positivity!” and you want to start identifying as a body positivity advocate, there are simple ways to become more body positive.
The first step in how to be body positive is celebrating all bodies (including your own!). That’s not to say that you can’t have body goals. You can totally have fitness, health, and wellness goals! Just make sure that on the road to reach those goals you are still loving, hugging, and uplifting every inch of your beautiful bod for exactly where you are now.
The second step in how to be body positive is to accept where you are right now. Body positivity is an active reminder to love yourself in real-time: That means you love yourself RIGHT NOW. Not when you lose 20 pounds or get breast implants, or dye your hair, or magically grow 5 inches taller. Body positivity is about loving and respecting who you are right now. Not tomorrow, not after a diet. It’s about loving every muscle, roll, curve, bump, scar, and dimple at this very moment.
Believe me, body positivity isn’t a cakewalk. It requires mental and physical work. It can be vulnerable to let go of what you may have thought your life would look like at this point and instead embrace what your life is. When you step into that beautiful arena of acceptance, you can truly start living your life! And you will begin seeing endless possibilities!
And before I forget, guess who else feels vulnerable about their weight, appearance, and beauty? Men! Yep, and men can carry messages of body positivity too. More and more men are coming out and sharing powerful body positive messages too. There are some awesome social media accounts of men sharing about their body positivity journeys too!
How To Be Body Positive & Love Yourself
Even the most confident women and men have off days where they feel insecure or anxious about their bodies. Luckily, there are ways to build up your confidence and arm yourself with positivity. Focus your thoughts on what you love about yourself! That way, when the negative thoughts try to sneak their way in, your positive voice will be louder!
1. Accept yourself, seriously
One thing is for certain: The way we talk to ourselves has a huge impact on our reality. So why not be nice to yourself? Why not build yourself up and tell yourself how freaking beautiful you are!??
Instead of criticizing your body, cherish your body and say thank you to your body! After all, you only get one! Stay grateful for it keeping you healthy and alive. The keyword when you think about body positivity is acceptance. Make this the day you drop the criticism and fully accept everything about your body, especially the things that you have always had trouble loving. Those parts deserve a lil extra TLC. 😉😉😉
2. Find body-positivity role models
Thanks to the internet you can find some BADA$$ women (and men!) who are confidently speaking about body positivity. Celebrities like Rihanna, Ashley Graham, Jameela Jamil, Beyonce, Demi Lovato, and more are spreading messages of what it truly means to love your body in an industry that’s tough to feel confident in (hello Hollywood). In fact, Rihanna went against the grain of a traditional lingerie fashion (ahem, Victoria Secret) and decided to showcase all colors and shapes of bodies. Her Savage X Fenty fashion show streamed on Amazon Prime and shook up the industry.
Whether you’re looking for a body positivity role model who is sharing about how they’re getting fit, how they discovered healthy eating, ways to master a killer plus-size fashion sense, or tips on how to embrace every curve on their body, those accounts are out there! If you’re on social media, start following accounts that are positive and uplifting. Soon, your scrolls will be full of inspiration, love, and tips on how to build confidence.
And, if you’re looking for a community of incredible women who are on the same journey towards body positivity, join our SkinnyFit Facebook group. We celebrate each other’s wins and support community wellness goals! Our SkinnyFit Facebook group is full of women at different stages of their wellness journey supporting each other’s health goals. It is a judgement free zone, where all women and all bodies are welcome.
3. Write down a list of body-positive affirmations
Here are some of my favorite body-positive affirmations. You can write these down in your journal or stick them around your house so you see them every day!
- There is no other woman like you.
- My body deserves love and respect.
- I love my body as it is today.
- Food is not the enemy and I thank the food I eat for nourishing me.
- I am allowed to take up space.
Have fun with it and write down what you need to hear, sis.
4. Start a self-care routine
Healthy and positive daily rituals like exercising, meditation, and healthy eating can have huge effects on your self-esteem and confidence. Seriously! Don’t just take my word for it. Talk to people who work out! They feel better about their bodies, even if their body isn’t a size 6. Why? Well, part of the reason is that exercising releases endorphins. And endorphins make us happy! But also, exercising makes you view your body in a different way. Instead of saying my butt looks big you’ll say DAMN my booty is looking awesome! Because you’ll know how hard you’ve been working and the improvements you’re making.
Having a routine can help you feel accomplished because you can see noticeable changes when you practice things on a regular basis. Check out our blog on how to create a self-care routine that keeps you consistent!
Self-care can also be in the form of supplementing your diet with extra nutrients and superfoods like SkinnyFit Beauty Juice. Beauty Juice contains 36 rare superfood ingredients that help ensure you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need to look your best, in one simple and delicious drink.
5. Eat Intuitively
Eat when you’re hungry. Sounds easy doesn’t it? It turns out that intuitive eating, or the “anti-diet,” actually is really easy. It’s what happens when you simply listen to your body and eat what makes you feel good. Intuitive eating is all about trusting yourself to stop when you feel full and respecting yourself enough to eat what your body is craving.
Eating should be easy! But we tend to make it much harder than it needs to be with a new diet coming out almost monthly. Come back to basics, listen to your body, eat when you’re hungry, and figure out which foods make you feel the best.
The same goes for exercise too! If you love dancing but hate going to the gym, make dancing your form of exercise. Don’t censor your true self. When you express yourself authentically, you’re living your best life! So, if you want to dance, dance baby!
6. Start living your dream life
Body positivity is about making peace with your body. I’ve heard so many people talk about what they’re going to do when they reach their goal weight. If you keep postponing your life “until I lose weight”’ guess what? Life is going to keep going, and you’re just going to keep waiting. Make the choice to be happy with your body just as it is today and go chase your dreams.
To help you get centered on your goals, check out this blog on manifestation.
7. Be happy in your body and spread joy
The body positive movement began as a movement for inclusivity. When you see someone you think looks beautiful, tell them! Let them know that they look amazing in their outfit, or that their level of confidence is inspiring to you. When you lift another person up, it makes you stronger too.
Final Thoughts On Body Positivity
On a global level, body positivity is about expanding the definition of beauty. On a personal level, body positivity is simply appreciating your body where it is, right now. It’s about celebrating your body so that you build the self confidence and self love you need to live the life you want.
I think the most beautiful part of our humanity is that we all have vulnerabilities. And one of the best feelings is when you can be completely honest about your vulnerabilities…because we all have them! And when you open up and share, you invite and inspire others to do the same. Hopefully the days of women wishing they had any other body but their own are gone. After all, the world is made of people of all different shapes and sizes. And that’s something to be celebrated with the biggest and loudest bells and whistles!
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