Body positivity, a term we have all come across a several times living in the times we are and that a few claim to practice body positivity. Still, how many of us actually know what it means to feel good with one’s body?
Body positivity is the very act of accepting your own body, and the bodies of others regardless of their looks. It teaches us to dismantle the thoughts about which body type is “ideal” and encourages us to appreciate one’s body type, shape and size, including everyone else’s too!
We often look at other people and dream about looking like them – having that thin waist line, toned arms and legs, etc. However, body positivity helps us better ourselves based on our own version of ‘self’ and most importantly, it is about not telling others how they should look – which most of us tend to do, subconsciously. It encourages self love and acceptance.
This encompasses people of all genders, race, age, weight, height and everything in between. NOBODY is exempt from its participation, everyone can practice body positivity. It envisions a world where everyone is comfortable and feel good in their own skin and no one discriminates against each other.
So how can we start being more body positive?
Eradicate “Fat Phobia”
The first thing that we can do is to start unlearning the culture of “fat phobia” and every other harmful, body shaming behaviours we have inculcated over the years. In the Indian context, the only way to be beautiful is to be “thin and fair” – a teaching that has hurt the self-esteem of thousands of women. That being said, it is also important to remember that the body positivity movement doesn’t only include plus sized women or women who have gained weight over time, but also men and people from other genders of all sizes!
Stop Body Shaming!
This means that we shouldn’t make unfair assumptions about others based on their body size. It is something that we all subconsciously do. These behaviours end up with people having negative notions not only about others, but about ourselves as well. This also means not telling others whether or not they are “healthy” or what they must eat or do to achieve some ideal body type.
Remember, we don’t know the struggles that others are going through and saying these things to them could cause them irrepairable harm.
Accepting that everyone is different
In the line of health, it is important to remember that we can be healthy AT EVERY SIZE. We have been lead to believe that being thin, lean and toned is the healthiest way to be. This is not achievable for everyone, and health can reflect differently on different people. Aiming for a balanced life with exercise and healthy eating is the best that we can do!
Finally, it is time for us to start loving our own bodies. Even though, it is hard to perceive ourselves in a good light especially with all the negativity surrounding body image, we can slowly do so, by learning to accept and love our body at every stage. Remember, it’s not possible to have a good day every day and there will be times when we may not feel particularly great about our bodies. However, the aim is to be as body positive as possible. Trying our best is the most that we can do! Try remembering to love yourself first!
Let’s spread the message of body positivity to everyone we know so that in this manner, we normalise the notion of accepting our body as it is and destigmatize the path for everyone after us.
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