Bodies come in many different shapes and sizes and that's beautiful

Loving your body: a look at body positivity

Women’s magazines throw so many messages at you: one article will tell you to love yourself whilst three others tell you how to get a summer body, clear skin, and a vagina that just won’t quit.

Men are not immune to this either, with men’s mags moving away from the conventional ‘see this sexy woman’ to showing you ‘how to get killer abs in four days’.

Body positive movement

The idea is always ‘love yourself…once you change everything about you’. With the onslaught of messages, how does one learn to love their being? Body positivity is one frame of thought that can help.

People mistakenly think that, because body positivity a movement carried most proudly by larger women, that body positivity is about being ‘a big girl and loving it.’ 

Even though the portrayal of a bigger body is an important part of the movement, it is not all of it. With a skinny aesthetic being pushed as the ideal, the body positive movement centres around changing common ideas about what a ‘great body’ or a ‘healthy body’ looks like.

‘It is by no means exclusively a movement aimed at the liberation of fat bodies; it is about encouraging people to accept and appreciate their bodies, irrespective of how closely they approximate – or fail to approximate – normative beauty standards’, says one author.

Be in charge of your own body

One of the core ideas of body positivity is to learn ‘how to uncover the messages that have influenced your relationships with your body, food, and exercise and develop a weight-neutral, health-centered approach to self-care [to b]ecome the authority of your own body by sorting out facts from distorted societal myths about health, weight, and identity.’

It is about tackling all those little voices that creep into your head when you are looking at yourself in the mirror, or when you think you should spend that extra hour in the gym, or skip that extra sweet treat. The truth is that the beauty standards set forth by various gatekeepers and society at large are ones that few people can reach without breaking the very bodies they are trying to perfect.

Big business

Skin lightening is a $10 Billion dollar industry whilst the weight loss industry is closer to $ 66 billion, and this is not mentioning the array of make-up products and fashion trends that have us doubting our very existence.

Making us feel bad about how we look is big business, so undoing the damage is going to be costly.

Body positivity has faced criticism, with people saying that there are parts of it that have been capitalised upon, amongst others. However, there are still many ways in which this movement can be a powerful force for good.

Not only does loving the body that we are in send a powerful message to ourselves but also to the world at large as to what ‘perfection looks like’. There are many people (regardless of size and stature) who are told that they should not love themselves.

The movement is about correcting an internal and external power imbalance that is often skewed against less ‘conventionally attractive bodies’. It is about undoing the harm that is done by the hate, the slurs, the societal pressure, the negativity, and self-degradation that few of us can escape. Body positivity, done in the right way, is a great way to start climbing out the bog of self-hatred.

Related: Why is the skin down there darker than the rest of my body?

How do you feel about your body? Share your thoughts in the comments below. For help and tricks to becoming more body positive, head to our discussion board.

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Recent Comments (8)

  1. I kinda hate my body my…
    I kinda hate my body my thigh are so thin and am so slim and not tall enough to be a model and am woeried about it

    1. Hey Samantha, there is…

      Hey Samantha, there is really not much you can do about your height, this has to do with genetics which you cannot change. This also applies to your body size and weight. You could try increase the number of meals you take in a day to try add weight or consult a nutritionist who will advice on what to do to add weight. It is important that accept yourself since these are things about you that you cannot change. You may find that you still have opportunities in the modeling space just the way you are. All the best Samantha.

  2. Hi am chubby and have belly…
    Hi am chubby and have belly fat and also side fat If I exercises not everyday doe cause I loose interest in it when I don’t see changes I don’t like the fact that I have belly fat and that why I wanna trim it off I can’t even wear the cloth I want to cause of this belly fat I really want a change

    1. Hey Sophia, it may help to…

      Hey Sophia, it may help to seek professional help as you work toward shedding some weight. While exercising is important, it helps to combine this with an appropriate diet. Try seeking professional help to find what will work for you as you work toward your ideal weight. Check out the following article;-

  3. I love big girls who love…
    I love big girls who love their own body and are comfortable in their own skin.

    1. Thank you for sharing Jerry. 

      Thank you for sharing Jerry. 

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