In a world filled with images of 'ideal' bodies and pervasive beauty standards, body positivity emerges as a beacon of self-love and acceptance. It's not just a fleeting trend but rather a transformative movement that challenges the norms and encourages embracing our unique bodies. But why should body positivity be more than just a buzzword?
In this blog post, I'll explore the reasons why body positivity should become a regular part of our conversations and how long it took me to TRULY understand and embrace it my own life.
Here are 6 important reasons we should include body positive discussions in our everyday lives:
1. Improved Mental Health
One of the biggest reasons to integrate body positivity into our daily conversations and lives is its profound impact on mental health. Negative body image can lead to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
For me, it led to YEARS of mental health struggles that began to eat away at my self-confidence in MANY areas of my life - even areas that were completely unrelated to my body.
By discussing and promoting body positivity, we foster a culture that embraces diverse bodies, we contribute to a healthier and happier society. We start to undo those "a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips" messages a lot of us heard growing up.
And even better...
2. We empower future generations
By integrating body positivity into our conversations, we empower future generations to grow up in a world where self-love and acceptance are celebrated.
We create dinner table conversations where our kids, our nieces and nephews, feel safe to explore the messages they've heard about their own bodies. Where they hear us talk about our own struggles and our own appreciation for our bodies.
3. Empower others through representation
Body positivity conversations create space for diverse representation in media, advertising, and everyday life. My own artwork and Instagram profile is an example of that. I was nervous about sharing my images, my drawings, my SELF but I realized that someone has to go first (ok I wasn't first haha). If I'd had more women like me to look up to growing up my experience may have been different.
4. Breaking Stereotypes
Our conversations about body positivity can challenge and break stereotypes surrounding beauty and worthiness. Instead of perpetuating the idea that only one body type is attractive or valuable, we can highlight the beauty in every body, regardless of size, shape, or ability. This helps shift societal norms and encourages acceptance.
5. Encouraging Self-Care
Some people worry that body positivity will lead to complacency and a world where we aren't taking care of our health because we accept our bodies however they look. I have the opposite view on this. I find that the more I accept that each body is unique (including mine) the more likely I am to treat it with appreciation and respect - fueling it with healthy foods, exercising in a healthy way, etc. Because now it is fueled by a love for myself, not to try to LOOK any way in particular.
6. Overcoming diet culture obsession and embracing aging
Crash diets, extreme weight loss, diet pills, heroin chic, thigh gaps, big booty small waist - It doesn't matter what era you grew up in, you experienced SOME kind of diet culture and "ideal" body type/shape/size. Normalizing NORMAL bodies helps us fight back against these messages for ourselves and future generations. Hopefully, with enough hard work in the body positive arena we can make these messages the exception, not the norm.
Body positivity isn't limited to the young. As I move toward middle age (hopefully I live long enough that I'm not already there... or past it 😅) I get more and more adds for anti-aging creams and serums and invasive treatments. It's clear to me that we need a push in the direction of AGING POSITIVITY under the umbrella of body positivity.
Body positivity isn't just a passing trend; it's a movement that can transform the way we view ourselves and others. By making body positivity a regular part of our conversations, we improve our mental health and those around us. We create a world where the next generation can feel safe to just be themselves, to focus on their HEALTH rather than their image, and to embrace that ALL BODIES ARE BEAUTIFUL.