Why Every Body Is Beautiful

Why Every Body Is Beautiful

#EveryBODYisBeautiful
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All girls, no matter what age or where they're from, go through a time in their lives where they don't feel beautiful, they don't like the way their body looks, and they wish they looked like someone else. Teenage girls and even young adults look through magazines and see photos of Victoria's Secret models, or a celebrity who has been air brushed to the max. It's okay to strive to be the best or to change your lifestyle and everyday habits to become a more positive version of yourself. It's not okay though to stave yourself, spend an absurd amount of hours in the gym, or wear extremely baggy clothes just to hide the body that you don't want the world to see. We need positive role models who will let women know that their body is beautiful exactly the way it is. One woman whose extremely powerful and confident in herself and her body image is Iskra Lawrence.

Iskra Lawrence is a British model who is represent by the company Aerie in the United States as the Aerie role model, and most importantly, she believes that "every body is beautiful". She is a huge supporter of body positivity, wants to change the world's image of women in the media, and she speaks to millions of students about body positivity. Also, she's committed to bringing both awareness and support to people and their families who have an eating disorder. Her message about body positivity is something that we all need to know more about.

While Iskra is promoting and advocating the love you should have for yourself and your body, that doesn't mean that she's saying that you shouldn't work out or make healthy and conscious decisions about the food that you put in your body. When scrolling through her Instagram, one can see that she's not afraid to post pictures of herself in swimwear, intimate apparel, workout clothes, and just everyday outfits. Iskra doesn't show that she's self conscious about how she looks in a bathing suit or how her body looks in an untouched photo of her at the gym. In fact, when scrolling through her pictures, anyone can see that she loves her body just the way it is, and that she isn't afraid to own it.

#EveryBODYisBeautiful is something that everyone in the world should know about. We should be talking about this confidence and positivity that we as women should have about ourselves. Instead of bringing ourselves down because we don't like the way our arms look, or we think our thighs are too big, we should be complimenting ourselves. Letting it be known that we gave a great presentation at work or aced a test. When we go to the gym we should focus on the little goals we have instead of the big ones. We should appreciate our bodies and what they do for us. Every body is beautiful!

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I Tried To Lose Weight All My Life But Couldn't Shed The Pounds Until I Turned To God

Now it's easier than ever and I'm never looking back.

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It's amazing how good it feels to get rid of something that has felt like such a tall barrier in your life for so long. For years, and years, honestly, as many years as I can remember, I have felt held back by my weight. It's something that never truly left my mind, whether it was how I looked in my school uniform skort compared to other girls, how I looked in pictures, the thoughts that raced through my head lying in bed that night, or if what I ordered off the menu would make me look fat. It was always something.

Now I have tried, or so I thought I had. I had tried giving up carbs for two weeks, doing workout videos, or eating healthy, occasionally running, or honestly, anything I thought might help a bit. But there I was after a full year of college, heavier than ever.

It was then that I found my secret ingredient, it was then that I found the ultimate weight-loss secret: Prayer.

I found myself amidst a challenge that I didn't know if I was mentally strong enough to handle, faced against temptations of my wildest food dreams. Canes, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, oh my!

I had never thought once about offering up my prayers to God when it came to my weight. I'm not sure why, honestly. It was something that I had struggled with for so long, that it almost felt normal.

Now, when I feel tempted I ask myself a lot if this is the "abundantly more" that God promises us. If it isn't, then I don't pick it. Strength is a process, just like endurance or habits.

I have learned that by offering up the comparisons I feel at the gym, listening to podcasts while running, or Jesus music while practically swimming in my sweat, I am motivated to keep going, not dragged down by the progress I haven't made. I have learned to thank God for the journey He has taken me on so far, and for giving me the capability to overcome these hurdles.

Jesus Didn't die on the cross and tell us to get our butts out there and make disciples of all the nations just for us to sit and be upset with ourselves and compare ourselves to those tiny pictures on our screens. Let's go, we don't have time for that. We have work to do.

No, I'm not saying that if you pray for Jesus to make you lose 15 pounds, the weight will fall off, but I am saying that through Christ, all things are possible, and with Him by my side, the running doesn't feel as difficult.

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My Body Is My Body, And I'm Done Hating Its Size

I am done wishing to take up less space.

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I am—presently—a size twelve. That puts me two sizes below officially plus-sized and my clothes at the bottom of every pile in every store. I gained twenty pounds in the past year, but I've never been thin. Thin-adjacent, maybe, and definitely not subject to as much societal pressure as people bigger than me.

No one has ever made a negative comment about my weight to my face.

But that didn't mean I ever passed mirrors without noticing my size. Or that I didn't constantly compare myself to other girls—real and Photoshopped alike—who had smaller waists or narrower thighs than me. I daydreamed about being one of them someday, in a mythical future when I was also somehow athletic and cured of stress eating. My real-life diets and exercise regimes were short-lived and always devolved into disappointment. Pursuing the body I wanted only heightened my already-critical view of the body I currently had.

All along, I enthusiastically championed body positivity. Of course, "fat" shouldn't be a bad word. And of course, fat people should be treated with respect. I supported fat people, and bigger-than-thin people, and people with rolls and cellulite and stretch marks.

But I didn't want to be one of them. I wanted to be an ally, someone who could shout encouragements from the safety of a society-approved body.

And then one day, I looked in the mirror and thought the usual: This dress makes me look wider than I am. Except this time, I thought something much less typical: Actually, this dress just reveals the fact that I am not thin. The dress wasn't warping the truth at all. It just wasn't hiding the truth.

And then I thought: How much would my fashion choices change if they didn't revolve around making me look as thin as possible?

I wasn't thin. I had never been thin. I probably wasn't fooling anyone, and I certainly wasn't fooling myself.

I had always encouraged other people to embrace the word fat as an adjective instead of an insult. Some bodies are bigger than others. And the fact that we have decided the bigger ones are the worse ones is purely arbitrary.

But I had never extended that logic to my own body. And now I did.

And that shift in thinking has been monumental.

It's been a month or so, and while I still struggle with instinctive jealousy seeing another girl's flat stomach in her bikini, I also love my own body—and its resident stomach pouch—much more than I ever have.

I ventured away from the high-waisted bikini bottoms this summer and put that stomach on display, a swimsuit first for me. I bought short shorts and liked the way they looked on my thighs. And I wore the dress, the one that first triggered this revelation, to an event and accepted compliments instead of contradicting them.

I am done wasting time waiting to be thin.

I am done wishing to take up less space.

And I am finally at peace with my body.

This is what I look like. It's what I've looked like for a long time. It's who I am. And I'm done buying into the narrative that who I am is a tragedy or an obstacle to overcome. It's just who I am.

I know girls who have elaborate weight-loss plans charted for themselves, who eagerly anticipate shedding twenty percent of their body weight. I know girls who are much smaller than me but still lament their size. I know girls who post before and after pictures of themselves in gym clothes with captions about how proud they are of their progress.

And none of that is wrong. It's okay to be self-conscious, and it's certainly okay to eat right and commit to fitness. It's okay to lose weight, and it's okay to want to, and it's okay to celebrate doing so. Making healthy choices isn't always a desperate bid to escape fatness.

But I know plenty of people for whom it is. I used to be one of them.

And I wish we didn't live in a world where that mindset is the price for being larger-than-thin. If you aren't a single-digit size, you must hate yourself to compensate for it. You must be working to change the situation, or else you deserve to be scorned and shamed.

It's not acceptable to be fat and content.

And that mentality is so insidious that you don't notice it. Until you do.

And I want more people to notice it. I want more people to question it. I want more people to fight it.

I want more people to be unapologetically fat—and unapologetically free because of it.

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