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How These 5 Body Positive Women Learned to Love Their Bodies

Barbie’s body is a lie. Unlike perfectly designed plastic, bodies are not products that can be flawlessly crafted. Real bodies are vehicles that come in all shapes and sizes to allow us to live, breathe and experience everything life has to offer. So why then, are we taught to reject anything less than an hourglass figure?

In 2012, women had had enough and decided to form the body positivity movement to call out unrealistic feminine beauty standards. The ‘one size fits all’ approach is no longer tolerated and body positivity has become an important part of modern mindsets.

Although the path to self-love isn’t easy, women are finally beginning to feel happier and more confident in their bodies.

In honour of International Women’s Week, I set out to find some of the most badass body positive women I know, to discover how they’ve learned to love their bodies exactly as they are.

1. Rachel

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Photo by Rachel Moore

          Rachel is a first year Fanshawe College student studying Graphic Design.

“Following people that look like you on social media helps so much. If you’re on Instagram and you see a model and you start judging your own body, you need to unfollow them. I don’t care if you like their work or like them as a person, just unfollow them because it’s making you feel bad about yourself.”

When asked about her body positive journey, Rachel described that seeing people who have everyday bodies on her social media has really helped her self-image.

“Find people that look like you that are body positive because representation matters. For a long time, I thought my body was bigger than it was because I was overexposed to very small bodies.”

Rachel believes that your feed changes your mood and that controlling the kinds of mindsets you are seeing could be just the thing to help you start accepting the natural appearance of your body.

2. Meghan

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Photo by Meghan Kings

          Meghan is a second year Engineering student at Western University.

“Being able to dress how I want to and have the freedom to wear what I want, when I want, has allowed me to have control over my wardrobe.”

When talking about her relationship with accepting her body, Meghan found that having the liberty to control how she presents herself has made all the difference.

“It really helps with my body positivity because I can wear what I feel good in and what I feel makes me look good. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, being able to dress and code my sexuality and gender presentation into how I dress is also really important.”

Meghan referenced that her newfound wardrobe freedom has helped her signal her identity to other members of the LGBTQ+ community and that being able to participate in that has helped her feel more confident.

3. Chloe

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Photo by Chloe Webber

          Chloe is a third year student at Western University pursuing a specialization in English and Literature with a minor in Psychology.

“I have struggled with body image in the past and tried to work out and hardly eat, thinking that it would make me happy and that I could magically mold my body to whatever form I wanted.”

When asked about her journey to accepting her body, Chloe outlined that her religion has really helped to deconstruct her negative self-image.

“I personally believe that God has designed me to be this way. I feel beautiful because I know he loves me, and he created me with a specific body type that I should rejoice to have. Because of my love for Christ and his love for me, I finally was able to love myself for the body that I have been given.”

4. Jenna

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Photo by Jenna McPherson

          Jenna is a freelance/portrait photographer in the London area.

“I was always worried I would never find someone who liked my body. I always thought that guys didn’t like bigger girls. But as I grew up, I realized that size doesn’t matter. All sizes are sexy!”

When asked what has helped her on her journey, Jenna referenced that who she chose to surround herself with changed everything.

“I wouldn’t love my body as much as I do now, without the close friends I have around me.”

Jenna finds that it is helpful for her to keep a healthy mindset and remind herself that everybody is sexy to someone.

“I still have so much to learn about loving myself but I’m definitely on the path to getting better.”

5. Katarina

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Photo by Katarina Fear-Firman

          Katarina is a student at H.B Beal Secondary School in the BEALART program majoring in Moving Image and Textiles.

“I stand in front of my full length mirror and I say one thing I love about myself either in my head or out loud.”

Katarina outlined that this exercise helps her to deconstruct her negative self-image and has allowed her to recognize the positive things about her body.

“This was hard to do when I started my journey of self-love. In the past, I had struggled with a binge eating disorder which makes me very aware of changes in my weight. But as I continued saying one thing I love about myself, it got easier and I was able to come up with more and more compliments for myself as my negative inner voice got smaller.” 

Keeping in mind all of these women’s body positive experiences, it’s important to remember that the journey to self-love takes time. All of these women have not gotten to where they are today without hard work. Their journeys have involved endless amounts of self-reflection and they still continually work on their body positivity every day.

One thing that has helped me is remembering to be kind to myself. Don’t feel like you have to deconstruct years of beauty standards and expectations in a single day; it’s okay to have setbacks.

It’s also important to understand that building a healthy relationship with your body is extremely personal and looks different for everyone. The process takes varying times for everyone, so don’t beat yourself up if you find that your journey looks different than other women around you.

This is all about focussing on you, remember? The important thing is that you’re trying your best – at the end of the day, that’s all you can do.

To help kickstart your self-love journey, I’ll leave you with the wise words of Lizzo, the body positivity goddess herself:

“Be you. Do you. Don’t let anybody steal your joy.”

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Emily Mason

Western '22

Emily is a fourth year student at Western pursuing an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing and English, Language & Literature. This is her second year as a writer for Her Campus Western. She has a passion for writing and aspires to take on journalism as her career. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, watching Friends, and singing to Disney songs in her car.
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