All bodies are beautiful.
I am going to start with this statement because I think during this shift of supposed "body love" we are in this terrible habit of shifting negative attitudes from one body type to another to another, instead of doing what we should actually be doing; loving all shapes and sizes. We are all beautiful. Your body is beautiful. Your body is a temple.
I want you to remember those things first and foremost. Again, because there has been a lot of negativity floating around. Hate gets us nowhere. And this is the part that I will cover first because, one more time, negativity gets people nowhere, shifting a bad attitude from one thing to another doesn't get us anywhere. Everyone, love your bodies! Love all body types. Know that they are all beautiful and to be loved and appreciated.
Side note: I am writing this article from a female perspective and while a lot of what I have to say is kind of aimed towards females, I know that males have the same/similar problems of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy due to media and social pressure. I think this article can help you too as most of the advice can be applied to both women and men. Men, you can just read different words in your head over the female pointers. ;)
Second Side Note: Stopping Negative Word Association
I feel like I have to do a quick note here about our tendency to interpret certain words with negative connotations. In this post I am going to say it like it is. Some girls are "skinny", some girls are "fat", but really all girls are different and beautiful with wonderful and different proportions. When I use the words "skinny" or "fat" I am generalizing to get a certain point across. However, I don't want people to shy away or become offended by the use of words. Because negative attitudes towards those words most certainly needs to stop. I don't view any of them as negative, and neither should anyone. If you're "skinny" be proud to say it. If you're "fat" be proud to say it. Love your body, and don't be timid by the use of words.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, onward…
Stop the Bashing!
This is what drives me crazy; body hate. If you're curvy or "fat" you are still beautiful. If you're slender or "skinny" you are also beautiful. Shifting a bad attitude onto another body type serves no purpose. Hate and negativity come from envy, jealousy, and insecurity. However, when we learn to love all body types, to see the beauty in all body types, when we learn to look at another woman no matter her size or figure and say "wow, she is beautiful!" that is positivity, that is progress, that is love.
We live in a society that truly separates us in every way possible (and I will dive deeper into that subject another time), so the last thing we should be doing is finding yet another reason to pit ourselves against one another--especially us women who have all that cattiness already. All women are beautiful. All body types are beautiful. All women come in all different shapes, sizes, and proportions. And there is absolute sacred beauty in that. Think about it for a moment, it truly is a beautiful thing! Think about how diverse we are, how unique, how truly beautiful. Isn't it fantastic?
The first thing we need to establish is love. Love gets us much further than a bad attitude. Skinny hate is just as bad as fat hate. All those silly images floating around the internet right now bashing on skinny girls is simply counter-productive and spreading more hate instead of fixing the problem. So no more bashing and let's focus on good attitudes to all body types.
The media is largely controlled by men (don't worry I'm not going to go on a huge feminist tangent ;p) which means unrealistic images are portrayed every day. They have selected one body type, one particular look, and have told the world that this is ideal, that this is sexy, that every woman should look this way. It's propaganda, it's one view point, it's simply what came to be to make people feel insecure and to buy and consume. However, that being said, they are not entirely unrealistic. The unrealistic part is that alllll the models look super skinny. The problem is lack of diversity. I know plenty of girls that are naturally skinny. Does that mean we should hate on them for being the way they are? For looking the way they do? Absolutely not. It's wrong. Just as wrong as bashing on curvy chicks. Again, the problem in the media is diversity. We should be seeing all types of bodies as we see in real life. The sooner this change happens the sooner people will stop feeling so self-conscious and the sooner women can start loving their bodies for the way they are.
The other problem is the immense photoshopping and use of angles etcetera to portray that slimness. It's what makes even skinny girls self-conscious because they think they should have no curves at all, no belly, no flab on their arms or legs. Oh, and no stretch marks. Come on now, we all have stretch marks, pimples, freckles, and little "imperfections" that make us so absolutely perfect.
So, here are my tips for beginning to change the world around you to build a body positive environment.
We are all responsible for our own attitudes and mentalities. No, the media doesn't help, but you still decide at the end of the day how you are going to feel and you have the choice to change. So stop paying so much attention to social media. Meaning, stop looking at fashion magazines, ads, etc. and comparing yourselves to those images. If you can't see the reality that those images are processed and photoshopped to this supposed "perfection" that can't actually be achieved in real life, then stop paying attention to them. If it affects you negatively then don't surround yourself with it. Pure and simple.
It's like when you're told as a child that movies and TV shows aren't real, same with the images in magazines and ads. They aren't real. Know the difference so that it doesn't effect you negatively.
Take charge, accept responsibility and let's get on with the love…
Shifting the bad attitude to love
Instead of shifting your negative attitude about your body onto someone else, shift your attention onto love. Replace envy, jealousy, negativity onto pure love.
First, admit to yourselves that we are all guilty of jealousy, envy, scrutiny, and deflecting our bad attitudes onto others. Admit it, please, so we can move on. Admitted yet? Okay, let's move on.
When skinny girls bash fat girls it's because of their own insecurities and jealousies as well. Usually because they feel pressure to stay skinny, and/or are envious of curvier girls who they may feel can eat what they want. Even skinny girls are insecure about their bodies--and I know this can drive other girls crazy, but we are all insecure. Magazines and ads are photoshopped to hell, and portray that tiny tiny body-type. Even if you're the skinniest girl in the world, chances are you still don't feel adequate enough, or skinny enough. If you're skinny, chances are you still have a "belly," I mean you still have fat on your body, and while this is a good thing, social media makes girls feel insecure no matter what their body type.
Curvy girls feel their own insecurities, which may be a bit clearer due to the majority of social media portraying skinny models. Curves are beautiful, but curvy or "fat" women feel the pressure to be skinny or that they are not beautiful unless they fit that role in magazines. Those images are subjecting them to this body type that simply is not them. And you shouldn't want to be anything that you are not. Curvy girls are beautiful. Fat girls are beautiful. Just because you aren't what magazines show us doesn't make you less attractive.
Rise above and love your body. It truly is beautiful.
Most women are insecure about their bodies, no matter what size they are. Women are also far harder on themselves than they are on other women. Most of the time we are hating our own bodies, but we rarely look at other girls and make those same judgments--and when we are it's because we are simply deflecting our own insecurities in attempt to feel better (which we all know doesn't actually work). So stop being so judgemental towards yourself. You're not sitting there looking at your friends going "she needs to lose weight. She looks fat," so stop doing that to yourself. Stop ripping yourself apart, and start replacing that energy into complimenting your body instead. When you look in the mirror the only thing that should be going through your mind is love, admiration, and a feeling of beauty and self-respect and joy. Start telling yourself what you love about your body instead of picking it apart.
Creating a Body Positive Environment
Change starts with yourself. Always always. So surround yourself with images of women of all body types. Post photos on your walls, in your bathroom, wherever you are going to see them a lot. Create your new reality where all body types exist and are beautiful. Surround yourself with images like this, every day.
Contact magazines, shows, companies, and demand diverse body types. Use your voice and express your opinion. If you have a subscription to a particular magazine, cancel it and tell them you won't resubscribe until they make those changes to portray realistic body types of all varieties.
This is our world, it's supply and demand. Any reLoveution starts with the individual, so use your voice, your power, your wallet, your social networking sites to spread the word and change the way women are portrayed.
This is going to be my only disclaimer here, and that is that health is important. Your body type, your curves, your slimness are all unique to the individual, however there are extremes on both sides and health always needs to come first. I say this for two reasons. The first being the obvious one that being healthy is, well, important, you know to sustain you and keep you alive and increase vitality etc etc. The second is that, when you are healthy, you feel better! I promote health all over ReLove Plan.et, because if you want to truly be happy with yourself and your life then you need to take care of yourself by getting exercise (whether that's a hardcore workout or a simple leisurely thirty minute walk) and eating well. Your mind is affected by your health. You can't truly feel good if you don't take care of yourself. And you should want to take care of yourself. The cool thing though is that the more confident you are with your body, whether you're on the smaller or larger scale, the more inclined you'll feel to actually take care of your self, because you will have absolute love for your body and will want to take care of it because it is your temple and is worth all the love in the world.
All of that being said, remember that being "healthy" doesn't mean you have to be skinny. Healthy comes in all different shapes and sizes. All body types are different. What looks healthy for one person will be totally different for another. But you will know what's right for you because you will feel good. And who doesn't want to feel good?
Another note, if you are trying to put on or lose weight for health reasons still keep that positive love for your body at all times. It doesn't serve you to use negative mindsets towards yourself. If you want to change your body it must always come from love. Don't discourage yourself. Positivity and love always always always.
Love love love!
Lastly, I want to get back onto the topic of love… not that I really left that topic much…
Respect yourself chicka! Love your body, love every inch of your skin, your curves, your bones, your beautiful beautiful body. Again, change starts from within. If you want to feel good about yourself then start doing just that; start loving yourself. No more judging, only love. No more comparing, just see the beauty that your individual body has. And see the beauty of all the lovely women around you. When you start to feel good about yourself then this illusion shatters and you are relieved with confidence, happiness, and love.
No one should hate their body. Ever! Women (and men) you are beautiful and wonderful just the way you are! We come in all different heights, orientations, proportions, shapes and sizes. We have scars, stretch marks, birth marks, moles, strange little "imperfections" that makes us so absolutely perfect. We have muscle, we have flab, we have bones, we have freckles, and skin of all different shades. Again I will say, how incredible is that? How absolutely beautiful is that? No one should ever feel badly about their bodies. Love will heal you, love will make you feel confident and on top of the world. Love will make you the best version of yourself. So love your body and let's change the world together shall we?
So much love from me to you!
"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself." - Thich Nhat Hanh
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