The world is a tough place, and it’s no secret that it’s full of people who would rather make you feel worse than celebrate your strengths. In this age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative.
All my life, I have been a fat kid, except when I was born, as I was underweight. So body image issues, have been a constant homie in my brain. I do not remember meeting even one person in my life who has not given me advice on losing weight. What should I eat, what should I wear, how I should exercise? For some reason, my weight was always ‘not appropriate for my age’.
I have always been told by my closed ones about how pretty my sister is. So, maybe I too should try to loose weight, put on makeup and start dressing up for others. A common phrase I have heard all my life is ‘ you don’t dress up for yourself, but for the ones who are looking at you’.
Well, while childhood was difficult, I have risen beyond all these comments now. how you ask? by not talking to these people. Yes I decided to shut my doors to anyone who found it too difficult to accept me. While some believe it is cowardly to do so, I prefer being sane, to a coward.
So, let’s talk about body image issues and body positivity today. A lot has been said about it, yet when we meet someone for the first time we address them as:
You look thin
Have you grown fat?
You look fair
have you grown dark?
So have we actually accepted body positivity, or are we just pledging on social media.
What is body shaming?
Body shaming is part of the culture we are living in. We are a society that accepts and encourages body shaming.
Body shaming has become so normalized that many feel comfortable judging others for their appearance, shape or size. This includes women and men alike.
In my opinion, body shaming has become so common that it has become an acceptable thing to do, even if it’s not right or healthy. I think this is because we are all raised to believe that others have something wrong with them and they should change themselves for everyone else’s sake. We all know someone who is skinny or overweight. But we don’t really think about how much pressure they feel from other people every day who tell them how they look and what they should be doing with their bodies.
I personally think that it’s not only unhealthy but also very disrespectful towards people who actually do have problems with their weight or appearance, like eating disorders or depression for example.
As adults, we need to remember why body shaming was such a huge problem during the 1960s and 1970s. The time when women were told they weren’t good enough just because they had curves or were bigger than average weight range for their height
It’s time to start embracing our bodies.
If you’re like me, you know that one of the biggest challenges of being a woman in this world is that we’re constantly told that our bodies aren’t good enough. We’re told we should be thin and thinness is equated with beauty. We’re told that we should wear makeup and perfume and clothes that make us look smaller than we are so that people will think we’re beautiful and valued. And when we don’t do these things, we’re told that something is wrong with us—that maybe it’s our diet or our genetics or something else entirely.
But I’m here to tell you: none of those things is true. None of them matters as much as how you feel about yourself on the inside! And if you feel beautiful right now, then please do what makes you happy and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Body positivity is the belief that every person’s body is worthy of love, respect, and acceptance, regardless of its size, shape, or appearance. It is about embracing and celebrating the diversity of bodies, rather than conforming to narrow standards of beauty or trying to achieve an “ideal” body type.
Body positivity involves rejecting the notion that certain bodies are “better” or more desirable than others, and instead recognizing that all bodies are unique and deserving of respect. It also involves rejecting the idea that people should be judged or discriminated against based on their physical appearance.
The body positivity movement aims to challenge the negative messages that society often sends about bodies, and to create a more inclusive and accepting culture. It is about promoting self-love, self-acceptance, and self-care, and it can be a powerful tool for helping people feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin.
Body positivity movement
The body positivity movement originated in the 1960s as a form of “anti-fatness activism.” Its goal was to break the link existing between weight and personal worth. It sought changes within schools, places of employment, and advertising. It also worked to change negative patterns of thought within the medical community, challenging the notion that a person’s weight is inherently tied to their health or that it is a sign of poor hygiene or non-compliance. Despite its well-intentioned goals, the push for body positivity has faced some challenges. One is that it is focused solely on appearance—but not necessarily on health! Another drawback: While being positive about your body can help improve mental health, it cannot be ignored that carrying too much weight has negative impacts on physical health and lifespan.
The problem with body positivity is that it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to love everything about their bodies all the time. How can you get around these drawbacks of body positivity? You can work toward body neutrality instead.
Body neutrality is a movement that uses the phrase “body neutrality” to help patients develop a healthy balance between diet and exercise. The idea behind this approach is that we are more than just a body—we are complex human beings with a variety of dimensions. Plus, a large portion of our physical attributes are outside our control as they are determined, for the most part, by genetics.
Since body neutrality isn’t focused on appearance, it allows us to appreciate all the things that our body allows us to do. Whether this involves engaging in our favorite physical activities (running, walking), or even something as simple as making it possible to hug your loved ones—body neutrality recognizes the value our physical being provides.
Although body neutrality was designed to help overcome the challenges of the body-positivity movement, there are benefits of developing a view of your body that encompasses both approaches.
a. Body positivity can boost your mood, reduce negative thoughts and make you happier with your body. It also enables you to be happy with it regardless of what society says about it or in spite of negative messages you might have received during childhood.
b. Body neutrality is a good approach for when you aren’t feeling positive about your body, but are afraid you might not be. It removes the pressure of loving your body, only asking that you accept it as it is and appreciate it for what it can do for you.
How to fully accept your body?
It’s hard sometimes because it feels like everyone else is always reminding us that they look better than us or that they’ve lost weight or whatever it is they’ve done to feel better about themselves—but guess what? WE ALL HAVE THE SAME GOALS TO BE HAPPY AND WE’RE ALL WORKING ON THEM IN OUR OWN WAYS!
Some ways to completely accept your body are:
a. Find what you love: Write down things that you love about your body, and say them out loud to yourself. This positive affirmation will help you accept and then love yourself.
b. Self correction: Whenever you try to compare yourself to anyone else, develop a self correction mechanism and stop yourself from going into self loathing. We just need to stop comparing each other and start supporting each other instead!
c. Practice gratitude: Studies have shown that when people practice gratitude and look at their lives through an optimistic lens, they feel better and are happier overall (which can lead to healthier habits).
d. Thought positivity: Thought positivity is the practice of cultivating positive thoughts and attitudes and minimizing negative ones. It involves intentionally focusing on the good things in your life and surrounding yourself with positive influences, rather than dwelling on negative or pessimistic thoughts.
Body acceptance is all about celebrating our bodies and treating ourselves with kindness. It means we don’t beat ourselves up for being tired or hungry or having a bad hair day or whatever else comes up. It means we think about how we can do better next time and get excited about the things we can change around us to make those changes happen!