HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Power of Body Positivity
by Sofia Beg
The term “body positivity” has been thrown around a lot lately. Did you know that it is not a new concept? It actually dates back as far as the Victorian Dress Reform. This was when women designed and wore more comfortable clothing rather than the waist-squeezing, uncomfortable corsets that were the norm. Then came a movement in the 1960’s where people wanted to put an end to fat-shaming. Women of all sizes were celebrated and taught to love themselves. And here we are today, still talking about body positivity but not always practicing it.
Social media, magazines, and TV shows are always portraying the skinny model-like body. We are always being told that skinny is beautiful, but in recent times many women have spoken out. Because of this, women are being praised for their so called “imperfect” bodies. Some celebrities and models have spoken openly about their weight and how they don't feel that they need to conform to the high standards of society. Well-known brands such as Dove and Old Navy have embraced the trend. They feature women in their ads that are more “real” and look like the everyday woman. The positive influence that these women (and brands) can have on young girls (and women) can be very powerful. These are all great steps toward building a society that has a positive body image.
Let’s face it, body positivity can be a hard thing to accept
Our brains are wired to think negatively, which is why we tend to focus on all of our flaws. With some work, we can change the way we see and think about ourselves. Having a positive body image can have many benefits, including better mental health, happiness, and a reduction of eating disorders.
Body positivity is different from when you say that you accept your body for the way it is, when you are unhealthy and make poor lifestyle choices. Some very unhealthy people use body positivity as an excuse for underlying issues that they do not want to accept. Perhaps they have a very unhealthy diet, are obese, or have low self-esteem. These underlying issues must be dealt with and not used as an excuse. Dealing with these issues will help you to have a most positive image of yourself.
We are all unique, and that’s what makes us special
We need to stop focusing on why we look different from others and realize that we are all unique, which is what makes us special. One thing that you may not like about yourself could be something that someone else wishes they had! Not to mention that it can be very exhausting when always comparing yourself to others.
How can you gain a more positive body image?
Here's 3 tips you can use to start gaining a more positive body image and start enjoying life more:
- A good place to start is to focus on the things that you like about yourself, such as your talents and hobbies. Find what makes you unique and try to look at it positively. Write it all down one a piece of paper and tape it somewhere you can look at it readily. Whenever you are feeling down, go look at the list to get a boost of self confidence and self esteem. Try to repeat positive affirmations to yourself daily, in order to try to change your thought pattern.With practice, it can be done.
- Focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle instead of always being on a “diet”. Be amazed at what your body already does subconsciously to sustain you and keep you functioning at a high level!
- Try to repeat positive affirmations to yourself daily, in order to try to change your thought pattern.With practice, it can be done.
Even those that do have a positive body image may not always love the way they look. This is completely normal! When you feel that you are picking yourself apart, try to catch yourself doing it and change those thoughts around. It ttakes a lot of practice but it can be done. By learning to have a positive body image and love yourself, you will live a happier life.
Just remember to be patient with yourself because the transformation towards a more positive body image will happen gradually over time.
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