A Hokie's Guide to Body Positivity

In celebration of body positivity week here at Virginia Tech, here are some tips on how we can all improve our own body positive mindset. The body positive movement is defined as a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being, according to Wikipedia. The general goal is for all of us individuals to have a better opinion of our physical and mental beings, despite all of the societal pressures that exist around us. It helps us feel better about accepting and owning our flaws, and focus on a general attitude where all of us are equals and we feel that no one’s body is superior to another’s.

Remember that we’re all equals

We’ve all had plenty of moments where we’ve compared our bodies to someone else’s. This doesn’t mean you’re somehow against your own body-- it’s perfectly normal to do, especially with the way society has taught us to pick apart every minor detail of ourselves. Don’t feel bad about this-- we all have our moments of weakness.

The most important aspect of body positivity in my mind is that body positivity is not just geared toward plus-size women. Although body positivity for plus-sized individuals is key, it’s essential that we refuse to put down women of smaller sizes too. Although our body sizes may not be equal, our attitudes towards them should be.

Being body positive doesn’t mean you’re conceited

So many people make the mistake of assuming that having a positive attitude towards your body means that you’re full of yourself. NEVER think this way in regards to your body. Acceptance does not mean that your physical attributes are the highest priority in your life, nor does it mean that you can’t keep working towards improving your body and becoming a healthier individual. Adopting a more body positive outlook simply means an alternate view of our bodies, and that we no longer focus on negativity and expressing only our flaws.

Don’t buy into industries who play off your insecurities

So many companies have employed marketing strategies that profit off of the insecurities of women and try to force you to buy into diets, plastic surgery, or drive you to participation in unhealthy habits. Models featured in advertisements for companies like Victoria’s Secret have taught us to have incredibly unrealistic and unattainable goals for ourselves, and to aspire to unreal thinness, skin complexions or altered chest sizes.

While some companies have incorporated “real” and “accepting” ad campaigns or more realistic size models, remember to search for the distinction between genuine inclusivity and body positive ideals with companies who are simply searching to make a profit or for positive press.

Although there are plenty of differing opinions floating around the universe about coping with body positivity, the key is to be accepting of others and respect everyone’s individual point of view. We all may have different ideas of what looks good, but all that matters is we feel good about ourselves.



Image Sources: 1 / GIFs from Giphy.com