Some Simple Ways to Practice Body Positivity. *

15 April 2020

- This post was written by a contributor -

Body Positivity was a concept founded by fat women of colour many moons ago, and has taken off in a huge way since then. It centres around the basic fact that we all deserve to feel great about our bodies, regardless of how popular culture views the ‘ideal’ body. It’s not always easy to achieve a positive body image; many of us fall into patterns of being overly self-critical. To free ourselves from these negative thought cycles and practices, we need an effective plan!

Positive mantras. Yes, a lot of people might find repeating positive mantras a bit cheesy, but trust us, it’s worth a go! Iskra Lawrence once said, ‘ Speak to your body in a loving way. It’s the only one you’ve got, it’s your home, and it deserves respect.’ Makes sense, right? So, try repeating positive mantras to yourself every day. You could do this while looking in the mirror, or while you’re simply sitting quietly by yourself. Repeat them in your head, or shout them out loud, whichever you prefer! Choose any kind of mantra you like; you could say ‘I am beautiful,’ or, ‘I love my body’. Or perhaps… ‘I am perfect the way I am.’

Be kind. Be kind to your body. This covers everything from eating healthier meals now and again, to boosting your endorphins by dancing around your bedroom! It’s not about dieting fads, it’s about kindness. That kindness could equally be treating yourself to some ice-cream if that’s what you crave that day. If it makes your body and mind feel amazing to stay makeup-free, then do it. But then it might make you feel fabulous to apply red lipstick and pop on a lovely vintage dress! Whatever makes your body feel loved, expressed, happy and nourished, that’s the right thing to do. Show your body that kindness. Besides this, be sure to keep up with your health care check-ups, whether it’s cervical screenings, dental checks or some cute Ray Ban replacement lenses for your new prescription! 

Ditch the scales. It’s not a crime to want to be healthy, but seeking health and happiness through numbers on a scale rarely works. Focus instead on positive changes. Whether it’s trying a new sport or learning how to cook a new nutritious recipe, focus on activities that make you feel empowered rather than judged. We are all guilty of judging ourselves too harshly at times, and body positivity is about being free of all that. As Jessica Ortner says, ‘you can’t hate yourself happy, you can’t criticize yourself thin. Real change begins with self-love.’

Read the right things. There are so many amazing books about body positivity, reading up within the genre is a great way to learn and feel inspired. ‘The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love’ is an excellent example. In this book, activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor allows readers to make peace with their body hang-ups and woes. Another awesome read is ‘Body Positive Power: How to stop dieting, make peace with your body and live.’ In this book, Megan Jayne Crabbe (aka the legend, @bodyposipanda) discusses the true path to happiness, using her own experiences of previously living with an eating disorder. Here you’ll get all the body positivity tips you need to set yourself on the path to change.

So, those are your tips to start on your body positive journey. Are you ready and raring to go? Comment with any other tips you have! And a little extra note here - do not feel guilty for any weight you gain or energy you lose during lockdown. It’s a strange time, and nobody will judge you. The important thing is you love yourself, no matter what. 


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