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Celina Timmerman / Her Campus

How I Learned to Become Body Positive

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cincinnati chapter.


I think it would be fair to say that a majority of people are not 100% happy with what they see when they look in the mirror. I found this to be the case especially for young women, myself included. Here’s how I learned to love my body. 


1. Take Social Media Breaks

There would be so many instances where I would be scrolling through Instagram and I’d see a pretty girl then end up on her page for an hour thinking, why don’t I look like that? Now, if I find myself doing that, I just delete the app and not re-download it until the following day. This takes a lot of discipline if you love social media as much as I do but doing this has helped me greatly because it gives me motivation to get out of these thought loops. 

2. Realize that Social Media is Unrealistic

Also relating to social media, another thing that helped me is realizing that almost every photo has been staged. People use angles and lighting to their advantage to make themselves look how they want to. I am 100% guilty of this too, sucking in my stomach in photos had become almost second nature. Realizing that everyone uses these tricks to their advantage helped me to realize that how people look on social media is probably not how they look in everyday life. 

3. Exercise

I used to hate exercise, I still mostly do. I can’t find the time nor the energy to ever go to the gym, but I just recently learned that there are so many different ways to exercise. For example, my roommate is a bada** CrossFit woman, whereas I prefer to go on walks in the woods and do yoga alone in my room. Both are completely valid forms of exercise. While I find CrossFit unbearably hard and intimidating, my roommate finds yoga difficult. It’s all about finding what works for YOU! I have found that even going on a short 30 minute walk makes me feel so much better about myself. Learning that physical health greatly has an impact on mental health was a life saver. 

4. Learning My Body Type

One of the main things that helped me love my body is realizing that everyone is built differently. Some people have naturally slim frames, while other people have broad shoulders, while others have large hips. Realizing how my body is shaped has really helped me. For example, I have big hips, like always carrying the laundry basket on them big. Because of this, it is difficult for me to find pants that fit, especially jeans. I used to find myself wearing baggy, loose clothing to hide how I looked, but now I have just worked up the confidence to leave the house in a crop top. Coming to the realization that I have never seen a girl in a crop top and thought, “oh she shouldn’t be wearing that,” made me realize that nobody is thinking that about me

5. Realizing that Size doesn’t Matter

I find myself getting so frustrated when shopping for clothes. At one store I can be a size six, while at the other a size 10. This lead me to not truly knowing what size I am, but also realizing that this is okay. I figured out that every store sizes their clothes differently, thus making it very hard to wear the same size consistently. Also pertaining to size, I have realized that it does not matter at all what size you wear. It’s possible to be perfectly healthy in a size zero, size eight, size 14, size 23 and everything in between. Once again, it all depends on how you are built.

Sophia Cates

Cincinnati '23

Sophia is a 2nd year journalism major at the University of Cincinnati. She hopes to help other women and offer support through writing. When not writing, you can find Sophia drinking coffee and looking at cat pictures on the internet.