Exploring Body Positivity
The roots of the body positivity movement trace back to the 1960s, when black women began addressing fatphobia and challenging beauty standards. This movement aims to accept and celebrate all bodies, regardless of what society says about them. It's not about trying to look like models in magazines or fit into a certain "ideal" image. It's about celebrating what makes us unique and different from one another — including our different body shapes, sizes, and ability.
Body positivity isn't just for women; every human can be body positive! Body-positive activists include people of all genders, ethnicity and age who are committed to practicing self-love by reminding others that they're worthy just as they are and that accepting their bodies just as they are today is a form of radical self-love.
What exactly is body positivity?
Body positivity aims to change the way we talk about and treat our bodies, and it's gaining momentum in pop culture. You might have seen this phrase "body-positivity" crop up on your socials, heard it in chat with the gals at the gym, or read it in a magazine. It's true that body positivity has risen in popularity over the last ten years or so, and for good reason.
Body shaming has become prevalent in todays society, just look at television shows like the Biggest Loser, or America's Next Top Model. These two shows are extreme examples of body shaming on our screens, and although things have improved since these shows ruled television screens, many of us growing us in the 80s-'00s struggle with our body image today.
Fortunately, there are ways you can fight back against body shame--one of them is body positivity.
Body positive activists believe that all bodies are good bodies, regardless of their size or shape; self-love should be promoted instead of shame; everyone deserves respect no matter what their physical attributes may be; and health comes from within (not from what's on your plate).
If this sounds like something you want to be part of, here are of the core ideas of body positivity:
Body positivity is acknowledging that all body types are good body types.
Body positivity is about accepting all body types, including your own.
Body positivity is not about being a certain size or shape; it's about acknowledging that all body types are good body types and deserving of love, respect, and acceptance. It's hard to imagine how anyone could argue with this message--and yet many people do!
The idea that there are "good" bodies and "bad" bodies can come from several places: society at large (e.g., advertising), media/ entertainment (e.g., movies), personal experience (e.g., having been bullied). But whatever the source may be, one thing we know for sure is that there are plenty of ways in which our relationship with our own bodies can suffer because we don't feel good enough about ourselves as they are right now--and this feeling can lead us down some pretty negative paths if left unchecked over time (such as disordered eating).
Body positivity is a daily practice.
Body positivity is a practice. It's a way of being in the world that involves self-love and compassion, mindfulness and acceptance of your body as it is right now (and not just on the days when you feel good about yourself). Body positivity isn't something we can reach once or twice; it's an ongoing journey towards understanding our own worthiness as human beings.
You don't have to know how to be body positive before you start practicing -you just need to be ready to try!
Body positivity is taking the focus off of appearance.
Body positivity is about taking the focus off of appearance. It's about being comfortable in your own skin and loving yourself regardless of what you look like.
This doesn't mean that you don't care about how you look or that you're super-confident with every part of yourself, but it does mean that if someone has a negative opinion about your body, we acknowledge that we likely won't be able to change--but you don't need to let it affect your opinion of yourself! You don't have to agree with them and even if there are things about yourself that could be improved (like working out more), there's no reason why those issues should get in the way of feeling good about who YOU are right now.
There will always be another person, or society in general, who will have an opinion about your body. When we practice body positivity we learn to come to a space where we don't let that impact our ability to live a good life in OUR body.
Body positivity is radical self-acceptance.
Body positivity is radical self-acceptance. It's about learning to love yourself, flaws and all, as you are right now.
When you are body positive, you know that self-love is the most important love. You give it the same attention, care and effort that you would give any other relationship in your life--including romantic partners or family members who need support from time to time. Self-love means accepting yourself as the beautiful person that you are right now (and not waiting until some magical day when everything changes). It means being kind towards yourself instead of judging or shaming yourself for things such as eating too much cake last night; looking at pictures of models on Instagram; having cellulite on your thighs.
You don't have to wait until those things go away before starting this journey towards loving who YOU are today!
You can start practicing body positivity anytime; there will be days when this practice falters, but the amazing thing is that you can just pull yourself back up and continue. Its okay to have rough days; nobody is born knowing how to love themselves completely and unconditionally (and if someone claims otherwise then RUN). The important thing here is not whether or not we succeed, its the fact that we are trying and that our intentions for ourselves are good.
Body positivity is a journey that you can take with or without other people. It's something that you can practice in your own way and at your own pace. If you are ready to begin your journey with body-positivity, then welcome to our space.
Lets take this journey together.
Remember, all bodies are good bodies--and there's nothing wrong with yours!
Nic @ Lulah Co