Body Positivity is for ALL Bodies
Take a second. Write one thing that you love about your body on a post-it note.
For some of us, reflecting on what we love about our bodies is not an easy task. How we feel about ourselves can vary from individual to individual, but in general, body image is what we believe about our appearance; it is how we perceive ourselves, and, how we perceive ourselves is often shaped by popular media. Popular media gives us ideals of how our bodies should look, and it dictates how we should feel and what we should do, if our bodies do not resemble their airbrushed, purposefully enhanced, intentionally reduced and specifically selected for body types. We are living in a society where there is a great emphasis on appearance and this has the potential to have a negative impact on how we value our own bodies…but it doesn’t have to be this way! In this everyday struggle of self-criticism, comparing, and undervaluing our bodies, we often lose sight of how amazing our bodies actually are.
Popular media has conveniently neglected to tell us that every body is unique and the only body you should take reference from is your own. The unique characteristics of our body like our weight, height, skin colour, hair distribution, hair type, musculature, fat distribution, and bone structure are a reflection of our genetic make-up and the experiences of our ancestors and our own lives. However, many people fall into a habit of self-criticism when talking about their bodies to their friends, when faced towards a mirror or while examining photos of themselves as they scroll through their Facebook or Instagram.
Learning to appreciate your body is a part of the process in improving self-esteem and nurturing your inner self. There are many positive activities to do instead of focusing on counting calories, comparing our bodies to others, eating “diet” food, changing our hair and/or removing it, or exercising for weight loss or muscle definition. Instead, consider participating in activities that increase your sense of self-worth and efficacy. By taking a step back and appreciating a feature of ourselves each day, we come that much closer to being be(you)tiful!
How to Love Yourself Everyday
- Write a list of ten things you love about yourself. Read your list whenever you need a positivity boost!
- Surround yourself with positive people and if you can, reframe the negative talk of those around you.
- Do something nice for your body. Acknowledge the really awesome things it can do. Pay attention to it’s needs and fulfill them. Show your body that you appreciate it.
- Stay hydrated! Water has an unlimited number of benefits. A hydrated body is a happy body.
- Keep a journal and write down one thing you accomplished that day. If you aren’t rooting for yourself, who will?
- Take down your mirror or throw a t-shirt over it when you find yourself being self-critical and try to remind yourself that you are more than your exterior appearance.
- Strut your stuff like you’re the boss. Self-confidence is the best outfit. Rock it and own it!
- Do or say something nice to another person.
- Take a moment and thank each and every body part for everything that they do for you.
- Find peace with every bit of yourself. Treat yourself with kindness to harness positive energy.
- Take the McMaster Alliance for Body Peace Oath.
McMaster Alliance for Body Peace Oath
I believe I am amazing both inside and out.
I believe that beauty comes in infinite forms.
I believe that I deserve to be loved unconditionally and accepted for everything that makes me who I am.
I believe that who I am is a reflection of what is inside me, not in the mirror.
I will love and appreciate my body for all that it does for me as it is my most sacred gift.
I will not let anyone put me down, nor will I accept any negativity towards my body.
I will appreciate what makes my body unique and celebrate it.
I will express my inner self however I like and I will not be embarrassed.
I will appreciate that my body will change just like my mind does over time.
I will commit to keeping my body, mind, and spirit healthy and happy.
I will turn my negative judgements of others into positive admiration.
I will accept the diverse expressions of others and will not think that they mean any less.
I am brilliant. I am brave. I am breathtaking.
I am BOLD.