If You’re Looking To Be More Body-Positive, You Need To Read This
Now, more than ever, it’s important to change our perspective when it comes to image and self-esteem. Many of us (including myself) have struggled with the inevitable weight gain that came with quarantine and dealing with the pandemic. We drank more, we ate more, we avoided the gym and any public place of fitness.
On the other end of the spectrum, many are trying to gain weight to get the curves they’ve always so desperately needed. There are also people who wish to bulk up.
Finding a new sense of normalcy can be tough. That’s why it’s imperative that we remain gentle with ourselves and patient with our bodies. Of course, it’s important to make goals for ourselves to strive for the type of body we want, but it’s also just as crucial to love where we are now without all the added pressure we give ourselves to look a certain way.
So, if you’re looking to be more body-positive, this is for you.
Women Are Beautiful
Ladies, I’m sure you have heard the cliche term a thousand times. “It’s not about what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside.” That may be true when it comes to attracting the right partner who will love you as you are, but you know that when it comes to self-love, it’s all about feeling confident in your skin that makes all the difference for you more than a person’s opinion of you.
When I’ve asked women around me what makes them feel beautiful, many of them say it depends on the day and that some days are harder than others. One of my friends told me she feels better when she reminds herself just how powerful a woman’s body can be. It creates life, it gives life, and it supports life.
Men can’t do half the things a woman’s body can. Those are facts. If I’m being honest, we curl up like babies when we get colds while women are birthing babies. Women are extraordinary human beings.
We are noticing a shift (even a small one) in the way woman’s bodies are being celebrated versus made to feel a sense of shame. Sometimes just a simple reminder that you are the vessel of power and womanhood is enough to give you that boost in being body-positive.
Men Are Affected, Too
If we want to bring up gender, men actually feel self-conscious, too. Many are led to believe that skinny is weak, that fat is shameful, and that the ideal body consists of washboard abs and biceps as big as tires. It’s an unspoken struggle, but men are constantly criticizing their physique in the mirror.
In order to become body-positive, we’ve got to take out the term “manly” and replace it with the word “strong.” Strength doesn’t just lie in physicality, either. Many of my guy friends tell me that sometimes they feel they are at their strongest if they can conquer fear. Being emotionally vulnerable can make a man strong. Speaking up or going up to someone you like with the confidence to ask them out is strong. Like women, feeling confident in oneself is enough to make any man be proud of what’s happening with their body if they’re able to have the confidence to appear strong for themselves.
Bodies Are Silly
I heard a body-positive comedian on TV once say that she finds bodies to be silly, which makes her feel better about her own physique. If you think about it, bodies are silly. Even if you’re at your most confident, being naked can be silly if you don’t take yourself too seriously. Belly-buttons are strange, nipples are strange, and even joints can be strange.
Having this sort of playful mindset takes the seriousness out of the stress we put on ourselves to look as sexy as the models we see on TV or in magazines. Because whether we are thin or not, our bodies are still silly when we stand in front of the mirror, and gaining a sense of humor about it brings back a less critical innocence we used to have as children when we examined our bodies as little people.
People Need To Mind Their Own Damn Business
Period. Nobody needs to know what diet you’re on, what your workout regimen looks like, how many pounds you’ve lost or gained, and if you’re eating enough or if you’re eating too much. These people need to worry about themselves and stay in their lane. Period.
If you set this boundary with people who take jabs at you for your physical appearance, they are more likely to respect that you know what’s best for you and your body-positive mindset. If I’m being honest, too, I always find that the ones who are so concerned about how your body looks aren’t too please with how their own bodies look either.
Feeling Healthy Is Enough
Lizzo has made several videos about body-positive mentalities. One of my favorites is her comments on feeling healthy versus how big or small you are. There are many overweight people or people who feel underweight who feel energetic and eat right.
To be honest, feeling healthy and feeling your best is enough to claim that you are healthy overall. If you don’t have any blood pressure issues or heart issues, things could be worse, and you should enjoy your body for what it is and emphasize how you feel. Focus on whatever it is you are doing that gives you this energy, too.
I think one of the most important things about being body-positive is having a mentor or a role model to look up to. Having someone you can connect with is essential for your self-esteem. You need someone who looks like you out there conquering obstacles and fighting battles that make you feel like you can do the same thing.
So change your mindset and focus on feeling good so that you can look your best on your own terms for you and you alone!
What do you think is important for being body-positive? Let me know in the comments!
Featured Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/86975836524310557/
Scott Hill is a former middle school educator and current poet with multiple self-published collections. He has a degree in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Houston and resides nearby where he can be seen tending to plants at his job, snuggling with his dog on the sofa, or spending time with loved ones. He enjoys whiskey and wine nights and loves writing about other poets, personal life experiences, mental health, food, and sometimes Taylor Swift. Feel free to follow him on Instagram @scotthillpoetry!