5 Easy Ways To Gain Body Positivity

5 Easy Ways To Gain Body Positivity

A new perspective can change everything.

Over the course of the last few years or so, I, like so many other teenage girls, have struggled with body confidence, with body positivity, and with comparing myself to others. But I've finally come to a point in my life where I have accepted a lot about who I am and what I look like, even though there are occasional down days where I just can't seem to look myself in the mirror. I love myself and I love my body, and its amazing how much your perspective changes once you realize how beautiful you are. Here's some real ways I've gotten to that point:

1. Fake it 'til you make it

This is by far the most powerful strategy I have used for myself. Fake it 'til you make it seems kind of silly at first, since you're telling yourself what you believe to be lies, but eventually you start to fall for it. One day at a time, one compliment at a time, one outfit at a time. You have no idea how effective it can be until you try it.

For me, it was acting like Phoebe Buffay from Friends. Phoebe constantly is pointing out how beautiful she is, or easy to accept compliments which she thinks are "stating the obvious". Embrace your sexiness girl, flaunt it, own it.

When my boyfriend and I first started dating, he would compliment my hair or outfit and I would roll my eyes, and explain why what he said about how I looked pretty or cute, wasn't actually true. I didn't believe what he said and I couldn't see what he saw (as cheesy as that sounds). But then little by little, I would be the one telling him that I already know my outfit looks great today, or my makeup looks amazing, or that I do look fabulous. He noticed it enough to tell me that he saw a big change in my confidence and I use that as motivation when I'm feeling down.

2. You're your own worst enemy

Girl, I promise you whatever you feel insecure about, is not what I notice when I look at you. I can guarantee that for every girl's body you wish you had, someone is saying the same thing about yours. For every little thing you notice and don't like about yourself, maybe your skin or your legs or your nose, you are the only one noticing it! Don't fool yourself into thinking models have perfect bodies--theres no such thing. Just take a look at the #AerieReal models, the new campaign with all kinds of body types that are beautiful and untouched and perfect just how they are. And so are you.

3. Use your own body as a confidence booster

Maybe you want to be the weight you were in high school again, or maybe you want to really work on cardio this month, or maybe you just want to get in shape. You can use old pictures of yourself as a confidence booster for what you are working towards. Look down at yourself and point out five things you like. Compliment yourself when you have a great hair day. Tell yourself you're amazing.

4. Empower others

Accept that you are jealous of other girls at times, that you compare yourself to them, and that you wish you looked liked them. Thats okay, thats normal even. But also remind yourself that they have their own insecurities too and might be jealous of something you have as well. Understand that every girl has self doubts and nobody is perfect. By empowering others, you are not only lifting them up but yourself as well. To them, you are a confident woman and you'll start feeling like one.

5. Give yourself a break

You're going to come to the realization that all the effort, time, and energy put into looking a certain way just doesn't matter in the long run. Who cares? There are so many other things in this life that deserve your attention than having your stomach look a specific way or owning the popular brands. Love yourself, you deserve it.

Please remember, theres a difference between working towards a healthy, happy body, and changing your body in an unhealthy manner. Be aware of the potential harm and risk that can happen with dietary choices, and be aware of eating disorders not only in your own life, but others as well. Know that you are perfect just the way you are and people love you just like that.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/body-image/

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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