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Body positivity, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, is embracing and loving your body no matter what “flaws” you believe it has. You might also hear it called fat positivity. I believe the body positivity movement is one the most vital efforts going on right now; more and more young girls and boys are starving themselves and purging their meals to have what they believe to be the only acceptable body type. Though body positivity is immensely important and it’s great that people are finally starting to accept themselves and teach young girls to accept their bodies, some people are going about this whole body positivity thing all wrong.

Shaming Skinny People

Putting down thin people just to make you feel better about your appearance defeats the whole purpose of body positivity. The base of body positivity is in its name: be positive about your body. The idea of picking on someone because you’re jealous of them is in full effect right here. You aren’t really accepting your body; you’re putting down the people with the body you want because it makes you feel better for some reason. You can’t love your own figure until you get this idea out of your head.

Male Validation

Body positivity is about loving your body even though it doesn’t live up to the impossible standards set by society, so we shouldn’t let our own acceptance rely on someone else’s validation as a replacement. You shouldn’t love your curves because “real men love curves,” you should love your curves because they make you unique and pretty damn hot too. Your body is exactly that – your body. Only you can decide how you want to view yourself.

Being Unhealthy ≠ Body Positivity

Yes, you should love your size 18 body. No, you should not eat Chipotle twice a day. Being positive about your bigger body doesn’t mean you should put yourself in danger by eating nothing but junk and never ever exercising. I’m not saying you should cut out all carbs and start going to the gym for two hours everyday because, seriously, that sounds awful. But you might consider going on walks with your friends instead of sitting on the couch or swapping Cheetos out for a banana. It’s a lot easier to love your body when your body is feeling good.

Being positive about your appearance can be extremely hard to achieve. It took me 19 years before I could think anything remotely positive about my looks. I fell into every one of these categories during my time trying to accept myself. I used to sneer at the pretty thin girls. I would only feel good about myself when guys complimented me. Don’t let yourself not live your life because you don’t think you look good enough to go out and enjoy the world. Once you accept your fat arms or your scrawny legs or whatever else you’re insecure about, you’ll be a much happier human being. I’m fat, I’m cool with it, and I finally move on with my life.

Kayla Jewell is a senior Editing, Writing, and Media major at Florida State University, minoring in Communications and Film Studies. She doesn't like to think about what happens after graduation. When she’s not doing schoolwork, Kayla spends her time stalking celebrities on the internet, taking naps, and going to concerts.
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