Embracing Body Positivity

This year has seen a surge in home workouts and people using lockdown to get fitter and healthier. However, not everyone has done this and that is okay. Regardless of any imperfections you may think you have it is so incredibly important to love and accept yourself for who you are.

 

Doing this means you should embrace body positivity. In the last few years, the body positivity movement has become highly popular, teaching men and women to accept their bodies for what it is. 

"Your words have so much power. Every day, if you tell yourself 'I love you,' if you give yourself one word of validation, it will change your mind." — Ashley Graham

 

Everyone’s body is different, coming in many sizes and shapes. It is wrong and unfair to assume someone’s lifestyle and health because of their size. While it may sound cheesy or even a bit cocky, body positivity involves you embracing every single one of your features – your skin colour, weight, body shape and so on. 

 

If you look in the mirror and can’t help but notice something you don’t like, say for example the shape of your hips, try to channel that negative thought into a positive one and accept that you are beautiful despite these features you may not like. You don’t necessarily have to be over the moon about it, just simply accepting your attributes is enough.

 

“You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” — Jessica Ortner

 

It is essential that you take care of your body and focus more on what your body needs from you, rather than how you would prefer it to look. An example of this would be starting to exercise and diet because it gives you energy and makes you feel great about yourself as opposed to killing yourself at the gym trying to achieve your ‘ideal’ body type.

 

Taking a break from social media or even unfollowing people who make you feel bad about your body can help you move towards a more body positive mindset. You need to acknowledge that everyone is different and although you may not look like someone on your Instagram feed, this does not mean that you are less than them.

 

“Life is so much more beautiful and complex than a number on a scale.” — Tess Munster

 

When you’re scrolling through Instagram it is so important to remember that anyone can achieve that ‘picture perfect Insta model body’ with the help of a few filters and autotune. Most of the time these portray a false body image and false expectations of how you should look. So long as you feel happy and healthy that’s all that matters.

 

Choosing to be body positive doesn’t mean you have to choose an unhealthy lifestyle. You can still exercise and eat good food, so long as you do it for you and nobody else. Motivate yourself with how you want to feel, rather than how you want to look.

 

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

 

If you hear of someone being bullied or slagged over their body image, it is important you stand up for them. Being body positive is not only about accepting yourself but also other people to ensure everybody can be comfortable in their own skin. This goes for you too – don’t allow yourself to pick at your body and say negative things about yourself.  

 

Next time you are in front of a mirror stop and tell yourself what you like about yourself, don’t be afraid to be cocky you deserve to love the body you live in. Step away from any negative thoughts you may have and try your best to love yourself.

 

"You know how long it took me to fall in love with this body? My butt was my least favourite thing about myself. And I learned to love it. And now it's the thing everybody can't stop talking about ... Be you. Do you. Don't let anybody steal your joy."- Lizzo