Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Mental Health

Self Image During The Holidays: How To Cultivate A Body Positive Mindset

Holiday Weight-loss pressure

The holidays can inflict so much pressure to our self image. As many of us spend more time with family and other people we haven’t seen all year, comments are made about people’s appearances, including fashion choices and hairstyles. But especially body shape and size.

Most family members don’t think about the negative impact their comments have on their loved ones, but these statements stick and can cause added stress to the holiday season.

No one needs people making comments about their body. Especially if the comments have to do with weight.

The confident collective

I was listening to a podcast episode by The Confident Collective that largely inspired the content for this article. In the episode “Navigating Holiday Weight Loss Pressure & Family Fat Shaming” Kristina and Raeann (two curve models and body activists) discuss their own experience dealing with the added pressure of weight loss during the holidays. They discuss their tips on how to reframe conversation with family members when weight loss comes up.

“I’ve always felt like I can’t go home without losing weight… Or I’ll feel like I can’t have another treat or everyone’s watching me eat. And that’s a terrible feeling. I’ve always felt like that. Growing up I always felt like because I was the bigger sibling, I was being watched.”

Kristina Zias, “The Confident Collective Podcast”

Their top tips in the episode were focused on standing up for yourself when people make comments about your body including the following:

  1. Letting your family know how confident you already are in your body.
  2. Just keep speaking up for yourself, even if it may take a while to get comfortable standing up for yourself.

My own experience

This is a topic that is very important to me, and I would also like to provide advice from my personal experiences.

As someone who has experienced these same situations, I know how difficult it can be. It’s not always easy to stand up for yourself, especially against negative comments from family members. I feel passionately that we all should be able to enjoy the holiday season without the added pressure of weight-loss and fat shaming, so I will be sharing some of my advice for how to deal with this sort of conflict.

Advice for a body positive mindset:

  • Most importantly, remember you are more than a body. You are a person with intrinsic value worth more than your appearance.
  • Set boundaries! If a family member keeps bringing up your weight or your body in conversation, let them know that is not okay with you. If they do not respect the boundaries you put in place, remove yourself from the situation if possible. They do not deserve to spend time with you if they can’t respect your needs for your own emotional wellbeing and mental health.
  • Wear clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. If that happens to be a dress, a suit, or even sweatpants, wear what you want! The simple (but important) act of dressing your body the way you feel best is vital to your own positive self image.
  • Do not let other people make comments about what you are eating. If food is a difficult topic for you, find a loved one that you can trust and let them know that you may be struggling this holiday season. This way if you need help, they can help you privately.
  • Here’s a great one… don’t weigh yourself! If you struggle with your body image in any way, this information and added pressure can be extremely harmful.
  • Focus on how you feel, not how you look. If you are hungry, eat! If you are energetic, take a walk or workout! If you are tired, rest! Stay connected with how your body feels.

Remember you are valued as you are. And that value has nothing to do with the way you look.

Anna Kubitz

Bowling Green '22

Anna is a student at Bowling Green State University studying Visual Communication Technology and minoring in Marketing. She is chapter President and Campus Coordinator of Her Campus at BGSU. She loves fashion, music, matcha lattes, and is passionate about creating beautiful things. Anna also creates midsize fashion and lifestyle content on Instagram, @annakubitz.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️