In today's world, there are so many expectations to live up to regarding how we look. Someone is too fat, too skinny, too something. It's asking far too much for me to sit here and say for everyone to treat each other equally and stop shaming someone based on their looks. No one would listen anyway. What I want to ask is for those who read this to start viewing themselves as they are, for just a day. Wake up, look in the mirror and say, "I look great!". Then at lunch time, look in a mirror, or a window or anywhere you can see your reflection and say, "Wow, I still look great." Then before bed, do it all over. Do this for at least a week, and see how you feel about your reflection afterwards.
When I had the initial idea for this article, I wanted it to be about fat shaming. Being on the chubbier side, I've only ever experienced it once (to my face at least), but people I know have received endless ridicule for their weight. I've gotten the "Oh, you're wearing that?" when I put on a crop top or some shorter shorts. And I would just say yes, but eight times out of 10, I would end up changing before I left. The stretch marks on my sides made me uncomfortable, so I would go into my room and search for a longer shirt that matched my pants. But now I can say that I show them off because they are part of my body and probably aren't going anywhere. I'll throw on some high-waisted shorts/leggings/jeans and wear whatever shirt I want, because it's my body, and I'm allowed to love it.
Now when I started to write the article on fat shaming, I realized that being body positive isn't only for "fat" people. It's for skinny people, people with a pear shape or apple shape or whatever body shape they say they have. I can't sit here and write "love yourself!" and end it there, because loving your body isn't easy. There are so many men and women who struggle with their image and don't believe that they will ever love their body, and for right now, that's OK. It really is. Because someday, and I hope someday soon, someone or something will make those people realize that they really are beautiful in their own skin. No dieting, purging or exercise will feel as good as someone telling you how perfect you are as you! Whether it's a friend, significant other, family member or stranger, someone somewhere is waiting for you to walk by them so they can tell you how good you look, and I hope that you believe them. There is so much hate in this world, you can't add on to it by hating yourself. I'm not saying that you shouldn't exercise or eat healthy because you should definitely be healthy, but you don't have to overdo it. Your No. 1 priority should be your health! No body-shaming post you see on Facebook or Twitter will tell you that. As long as you're happy and healthy, it shouldn't matter what you look like. And there will always be people on the side telling you not to wear that bikini, or to put on more makeup, but you don't need to listen to them. Wear what you want and be who you are. Anyone who can't take that shouldn't be in your life.
So, why do I choose to be body positive? I want to show others that it's OK to love yourself. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin no matter what I'm wearing. I want to be happy, and I want to be healthy. I want to live my life not worrying about what other people think. I want to make a difference somewhere or for someone, so they know that they aren't alone! It's so easy to falter and sit in self-loathing 24/7, and it's also easy to get out and live your life the way you want to! I promise that once you start to love your body and the person in it, you'll never be happier.