Scrolling through social media, I see Ashley Graham. A gorgeous woman, well known for spreading body-positivity and flaunting her curves. All of a sudden, thoughts come rushing into my mind- wouldn’t it be amazing if ALL women chose to love their bodies and themselves- just the way they are? Like how many industries would run out of business with just one change? How liberating would that be? If “regular” and “normal” becomes the new sexy?
With the advent of technology- TV commercials and social media setting unrealistic standards of beauty and feminine frame – the incidence of mental health disorders in women are on the rise.
How many times have we seen someone on social media – looking flawless, living an absolutely fabulous life without feeling a wee bit jealous and wanting that face, that hair, that body and that life?
Despite knowing that social media can be as deceiving as a mirage on a hot summers day?
We all have been there, done that, felt that.
And we didn’t realize that with daily reinforcement, it has finally integrated into our minds. That we aren’t pretty enough, thin enough, curvy enough, rich enough etc. THAT WE ARENT ENOUGH.
So, what is “body- positivity”- a word we see quite commonly, circulating around social media sites and elsewhere?
According to the body positive movement:
Body positivity is about radically re-imaging how any culture views bodies, moving from a society where differences are ranked to one where they’re celebrated. Whether people are nurturing their bodies and maintaining their weight, or finding a place in life where they are comfortable through working out, or changing their lifestyles to find a better attitude, the body positive movement focuses on building self-esteem through improving one’s self-image.
The Body Positive organization offers workshops that have five different learning competencies:
1: Difference between positive messages and messages that have the potential to “cause self-destructive behavior”
2: Being able to experience health through practicing self-care.
3: “Cultivating Self-Love,” “to move away from self-criticism…and become aware of the voices that raise criticism.”
4: “find inner beauty without having to resort to the ideal images imposed on us by society.”
5: “Build Community” and its focus is encouraging “individuals to be connected with others in order to establish a community of support and harmony.”
My struggle with self-esteem and healthy body-image started way back when I didn’t even know what these words meant. I started to look at myself through the eyes of the society. And trust me, it was not a good image. Being body-shamed, fat shamed, color-shamed (does this word exist?) I felt like an outsider in all the social environments I was in.
Eventually, I started believing that image to be true. And I went downhill being on the edge of the slippery slope. I made choices and decisions based on negative thoughts and feelings about myself. I couldn’t use my time, my energy, my intellectual abilities to utilize all the amazing opportunities. I slacked. I didn’t want to learn or to grow. I stayed inside my shell. LOCKED IN.
Over the years, I realized true body positivity starts from the inside- from the mind- you are what you believe yourself to be. And like attracts like. If you believe you are a QUEEN- you start feeling like one- and that confidence will help you look like one.
If you think positive- you attract positive things- be it vibes, people or life events.
This was the turning point in my life and I haven’t looked back ever since. I felt free when I realized I didn’t have to “fit in” into the narrow molds society has to offer. I can finally BE MYSELF and realize my potential! I can appreciate, love and take care of the body I have.
I turned to myself to find positive affirmations that leads to self- acceptance, positive self- image and self-esteem.
Words are powerful! Say the correct ones to yourself and see the magic happening. Give yourself pep-talks every morning. Say “I love myself “, “this life is mine”, “girl, be badass”, “be a boss today” and see your attitude to yourself changing! And guess what, people around you will notice too!
Sure, I have a million feeling-bad-about-myself days- sprinkled all year round, but they just make me stronger. I try not to let these moments affect my inner core of confidence and self -esteem. Somedays, it is very hard but remind yourself IT’S OKAY. Sleep over it. But make sure, when you wake up the next day- you rise as the whole damn fire.
It all starts with YOU- love yourself.
YOU are ENOUGH.
“My body, like my confidence, has been picked apart, manipulated, and controlled by others who didn’t necessarily understand it. Once, I reclaimed ownership over my body, I discovered a greater purpose as a woman who was defying preconceived standards of feminine beauty.” Ashley Graham
Body con Dress: Shein
Sunglasses: Michael Kors
Fierro, Ernesto. “Positive Body Image Workshop Creates Culture of Body Image Acceptance.” University Wire. Jan 25 2016. ProQuest. Web. 9 Nov. 2017