When given the choice, would you rather: 1) Be overly critical and unloving toward your body as it is, OR 2) Be accepting and loving towards your body as it is?
Safe to say most of us would choose the latter. But easier said than done, right? After all, virtually all of us have things we genuinely don’t like about our bodies, and some of us feel this more painful than others.
One attempt to bridge this gap is the so-called Body Positivity Movement. It’s meant to be inclusive toward people from all walks of life and intended to serve 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.” Body positive voices also promote laudable social changes such as the end of body shaming, racism, sexism, and so on.
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Activists, as well as the movement in general, do get their fair share of criticism, of course. Some say body positivity unwisely paints obesity in an almost blithe light—as if being overweight is not inherently risky to one’s overall health (despite massive amounts of scientific evidence showing a clear link between obesity and chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease). Others find fault with body positivity as a roundabout way to shame people (namely heterosexual males) who often find thin body types more attractive.
But for all it’s perceived drawbacks and dissenters, the body positivity movement does have plenty of things to offer. To some, it’s a worldwide movement. To others, it may just be a radical-but-not-new idea that the more love you give yourself, the more you can give to (and get from) others.
5 Ways You Can Make #bodypositivity a Lifestyle
1) Refrain from insults.
Plain and simple: if you say something with the intent to hurt someone, know that it’s coming from a space of hurt inside yourself. The remedy? Give genuine compliments, and when someone compliments you, believe them and say thank you.
2) Try a social media fast.
The comparison game is a slippery slope. Why not sign off social media for one week (or even one day) and instead focus on gratitude toward yourself?
3) Stand up for the things you find important.
Lend your voice to causes that inspire you or touch you in some way.
4) Pledge to wear clothes you love.
You know what you like—and you also know you only have one life to enjoy it! Wear attire that flatters you and makes you feel gorgeous and confident.
5) Treat your body like the temple it is.
You can’t be body positive if you aren’t making positive choices for your health. So: eat nutritious foods, exercise, meditate, seek therapy, refrain from known toxins, practice safer sex, get enough sleep…and if you “slip up” every now and then, be kind to yourself by ditching the guilt over it.
Got any #bodypositive stories of your own? Let us know about it in the comments below!