So I thought I’d write a post on body positivity because it is a word that until fairly recently, we didn’t hear so much. But lately if you’re on any form of social media, you would have seen both bloggers and the rest of all the guys and gals out there bringing attention to this much needed topic. Believe me – my fourteen year old self would have benefited so much from hearing this message. If you are anywhere around the same age as me (26) you would have had the same message blaring at you your whole life And that message is : you need to be thin to be beautiful.
Other messages we’ve all become so accustomed to is that we need to devote all our time, energy and money to losing weight and achieving that ultimate number on the scale. However, lately people are challenging this way of thinking and there’s a fourteen year old me cheering from the inside for every young lady still growing up in society- you are so much more than what you weigh.
The way we see beauty is changing
For me that is one of the most overwhelming messages of body positivity – beauty comes in every shape and size and you are beautiful the way you are. It’s much more than a motto, slogan or marketing campaign. Rather it’s a way of thinking than is challenging what people believe about themselves to be true. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t have weight loss goals or be fitness focused to be body positive- not at all! It more means that you don’t have to lose weight to be beautiful or to be acceptable. It means beauty is not a size.
Body shaming is something pretty much most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. It happens to almost everyone. And it’s not just if you’re curvy or overweight – no- people can be body shamed for being too thin, too tall, too short and even not curvy enough. We all know that sinking, sting of being mocked even just by a seemingly innocent comment.
The concept supports this crazy notion that all bodies are worthy of self love, self care and acceptance. Regardless of their size. It also believes that all bodies have the right to feel beautiful – regardless of size, colour or status. Body positivity also means that everybodies idea of a “good” body is unique – and that is perfectly fine.
Why is body positivity important?
- We are learning that we are more than our bodies : Our thoughts, actions and positive contributions to society are important and body positivity is showing us that there is so much more to us than just our bodies. I absolutely adore this quite by JK Rowling.
I know it sounds so random but personally I am looking forward to my children growing up being judged on the quality of their character and not the size of their jeans.
Other reasons why body positivity is important
- We are learning to love our bodies: Our entire lives we have been bombard with messages that a certain body shape is beautiful. So this notion that our bodies are beautiful the way they are is a game changer. For too long society has embraced a message that if your body is abnormal in any way you should be ashamed of it. Body positivity is learning to believe your body is your friend and not your enemy.
- We are starting to want to treat our bodies well: It’s pretty clear when we love something, we look after it. So when we have a bad view of our bodies, we tend not to care for them as much. Too often, our bodies are under or over fed, under or over excerised and not treated as a worth part of us. When we start to love our bodies, naturally we will start treating them better.
- We are starting to not believe everything the media tells us: By changing our mindsets, we stop blindly believing everything the media tells. Like for example by losing five kilograms you will be a whole new you. Being thin will make you happy. As the media continues to push false ideas we no longer believe towards us, we might start to question what other false ideas are being fed to us.
So who can I follow on Instagram who is sharing this message and journey?
Honestly there are so many amazing individuals out there who are encouraging and empowering people to embrace their body.
I actually first started seeing much more of this topic being discussed when Marciel Hopkins, a Miss South Africa finalist, started sharing her journey on embracing her bodies natural shape. She became an advocate for beauty beyond size and has become a wellknown name in the South African modelling industry. If you’d like to read more about her journey, start with this article
And one of my personal favorite body positivity accounts:
Earlier this year I came across an inspiring lady, Kerry who has a blog called Kandidly Kerry. Kerry is a blogger from Durban who shares her own journey surrounding self love and body positivity and also encourage her followers. If you’re in a space where you want to begin the journey of learning to love yourself, I’d recommend subscribing to her blog and following her on Instagram. There isn’t one post of hers that I haven’t read that doesn’t leave me encouraged or inspired.
My personal journey with body positivity
My mindset has gradually been changing the last year or two. But believe me, this is a journey. It’s not something you can just simply decide and never struggle again. No – you will have good days and bad days. If you’d like to read a bit about my own journey with body positivity and why body positivity is important to me, you can! I wrote an article sharing my personal journey on Real Women Revolution – take a look. Even the way I approached my “New Years Resolutions this year was different. I decided to focus more on health and being fitter and stronger rather than a number on the scale.
So I challenge whoever is reading this to think about this topic. What does body positivity mean to you? Do you need to unfollow some Instagram accounts that make you feel ugly? Or maybe you need to write a list of what you love about your body. Maybe body positivity for you means buying a dress and wearing it with pride or confidence. Whatever it means, may 2018 be a great year for you filled with peace about your body embracing it for what it is rather than what it is not.