Why We Need Body Positivity More Than Ever

Why We Need Body Positivity More Than Ever

This is my body, and I will not be ashamed.
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I’ve never really been a “skinny” girl. Throughout my whole life I have had a problem with my weight and because of this I have grown up to be very insecure about how I look. Now, I will be the first to admit that my diet and exercise does play a role, but even so I should be able to feel confident and love myself. I always worried about what other people thought of how I looked when instead I should have been worrying about how I felt.

Body positivity isn’t easy and everyone comes in various shapes and sizes. The first step to loving your body is to realize this and accept it. Most of my own, and other peoples, insecurities come from the media and from a very young age we are taught that you have to look a certain way; you have to look skinny. But once you realize that everyone’s body is made different, you realize that the “skinny” body that is portrayed as perfect in the media isn’t attainable for everyone.

The second step to loving your body is making a change. You can change your diet, your exercise habits, but most importantly you can change the way you think. In my body positivity journey I am trying to not only eat better, but exercise more as well. As a college student this can be very challenging but when I put the effort in I immediately feel a difference. I have also changed the way I think about my body. Instead of hating what I see I embrace it. By dressing in various styles or experimenting with makeup I can turn the parts of me that I hate into something I love. Nothing really changes the way I look, but it makes me feel more confident and the confidence is what matters.

Throughout my journey of learning to love my body I have also discovered something very important – “skinny” isn’t beautiful, confidence is. The truth is, nobody but yourself cares what shape or size you are, and true beauty lies in how you think of yourself. I have gained so much more confidence in this past year that I feel more beautiful than ever before. Sure I haven’t lost the weight that I want to lose and sure I don’t look like the models in all the magazines (and trust me I don’t want to look like them), but in the meantime I am no longer ashamed of how I look and don’t care about what other people think of me.

My journey is far from over, but reflecting back on how far I have already come makes me feel so proud. Many girls my age hate parts or all of their body, but I am writing this to tell them that they don’t have to. Body positivity isn’t based on the number on a scale, but based on how you feel in your own body. Just like people have different hair and eye colors, everyone has different bodies. We need to learn to embrace that rather than suppress it by trying to look like someone you aren’t. You are beautiful. We are all beautiful.

Cover Image Credit: http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/2000_1000/57c972a1180000b429bced2f.jpeg?cache=yg2y6hav9s

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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