How To Upgrade Your Body Positivity (Even In A Bathing Suit)
Hate the industry, not yourself.
The concept of “body positivity” isn’t something new. It’s been around for quite some time now. People generally seem to be happier when they like the body they’re in, right? However, it’s become a lot more widespread in recent times, thanks to the rise in social and digital media.
The idea is rooted in self-love. Embracing and being kind to your body in spite of how it looks in the mirror. Crucially, self-love isn’t molded by the opinion of others but rather by that of yourself. It has seemingly become easier to do so thanks to social media, where a community is being built on the backend of like-minded individuals who are helping to spread the cause.
Plenty of people attest to having body positivity problems growing up that have followed them well into their adult life. When you’re young it’s easy to feel alone and scared because you’re still learning about yourself. Feelings of disdain and unhappiness towards one’s body can be hard to articulate to others as so many of us come from different backgrounds and cultures where such a thing is often unheard of.
The good news is that you’re NOT alone. There’s a whole world out there within the realm of social media where your feelings are shared by others, and your words are being heard.
So what can you do?
#1. Clear your social media out
One of our best advice is to get involved. Have a serious look at your social media and be honest with yourself about the things that are triggering you. Clear your social media out, just like you would with your closet with the changing seasons. That goes for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, the lot. Follow the #bodypositivity hashtag and go hunting for people who have your best interests at heart. The more you consume these positive messages and images, the more you’ll learn what it means to love and respect yourself. For those of you who feel alone and hopeless, this is the exact kind of nurturing you need.
#2. Remind Yourself Of The Things That Make You Worthy
We also know there are those of you whose mind is what’s keeping you down, where thoughts of yourself are too damning to dare talk about. Just walking down the street is a trigger: you might be met with tons of body shaming language and images and suddenly your day is ruined. Trust us, ladies, we’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s easier to just bury our thoughts deep within the crevices of your mind and keep it pushing. But the problem with that is it can stay buried for only so long. And besides, life’s too short to ignore an unhealthy mindset.
The next time you find yourself in an environment that is loaded with fat shaming messages and toxic body images, silence the negative voice in your head with go-to body-positive mantras. Make declarations of love to yourself instead: Are you a kind person? Are you the life of the party? Are you someone who’s dependable and trustworthy? Are you hardworking and dedicated? Remind yourself of the things that make you worthy because you ARE worthy. You are the only person who will be with you for the rest of your life. There is so much more to you than the world thinks so tell yourself about yourself, girl.
#3. Take Initiative
Meditation, yoga, body positivity books. These are all things that are designed to encourage self-love. The more you practice mindfulness, the better equipped you will become at fighting self-hate thoughts. Morning yoga is a wonderful way to release endorphins that will naturally make you feel positive about the day ahead of you, which in turn will keep you in better spirits to fight any negative body-shaming that may come your way. Look for good body positivity books, too. Remember the whole community point about social media? You’ll find that in books too. There are plenty of people who are turning to write as a way of combatting their body dysmorphia. You might find that you share similar experiences as them which can be highly cathartic.
#4. Hate The Industry, Not Yourself
Above all, ask yourself why it is that you have poor body positivity? Why do you have such a strong desire to be slimmer or more defined? Why do you feel the need to go on a juice detox or forced into joining a gym?
…Girl, it’s not you. It’s the industry that profits from you hating yourself. Its sole purpose is to make you feel horrible about your body, in the hope that you will go out and invest in unhealthy ways to bring the pounds down (only for it to creep back up months later). You know what’s cheaper but far more beneficial down the line? Investing in yourself by practicing self-love. You can’t put a price on that.
#5. Evaluate Your Circle Of Friends And Family
And what about the company you keep? Do you find yourself involved in negative conversations about body image? Your friends and family might be contributing to your poor body positivity, even when they say it’s “because we care”. If you’re being forced into changing your body for vanity or reasons that are simply nonsensical then no, they don’t care at all. The people you care about should care enough to respect your view(s) on loving your body for what it is, even if they don’t agree with it. Next time you find yourself in such a situation, challenge the toxicity and stand up for yourself.
Just remember, when you stare long enough at yourself, you’ll always find something to complain about. The average person passing you by doesn’t care nor have the time to pick you apart the way you do. Point is you’re creating a problem that isn’t there. Sure, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves. Life comes in stages and we want to improve each time. But don’t criticize yourself in such a way that you set impractical expectations. You’ll waste your whole life trying to live up to them.
The next time you find something to change about your body, practice gratitude. Remind yourself of the things you’re blessed to have in your life. Remember the body positivity messages you plugged on social media, or that one sentence that stuck with you from the self-love book you read the night before.
Understand that beauty is skin-deep and you’re beautiful just as you are.