How to Practice Body Positivity and Love the Skin You’re In
by Andrea Watson | October 24, 2020
Dedicated to my new friend, Poorwa Vishwakarma; thanks for all the support.
As I sit here in my pajamas eating my brownie, I can’t help but think of you (my readers). I am thinking about body positivity and how it applies to our lives. For me, it took a long time to find. Like say, 30 years or so. It required a lot of internal personal development and meditation before I could accept my body as mine and begin to love it.
Now, life is all good and my body and I are best friends. So how does one practice this recently recognized social concept? There are some specific things you can do. If the problem lies deep down in your psyche, like mine did, make sure to get some professional help as you practice these things.
Let’s hear it for Salt N Pepa, some of the most vocal champions of body positivity and female empowerment in recent ages!
You might be thinking, “Yeah, but those women are gorgeous, and I look nothing like them. I have dry skin, pudgy knees, a lumpy butt, and things just don’t stay in their proper places anymore”. Oh wait! That is what I would have been thinking!
Don’t be Like Aunt Bunny
To all my physical flaws I say, “So what?”. Aging happens to everyone and we can either accept it gracefully and embrace ourselves or tumble down the stairs like Eddie Murphy’s Aunt Bunny. *Disclaimer: I am not endorsing the insensitivity or political incorrectness of 1980’s Eddie Murphy-I just needed a good example of falling down the steps*
For me, aging is my biggest barrier to body positivity. For you, it could be anything else. Let’s look at ways to break through our barriers, shall we?
Stop the Social Comparisons
We’ve heard this over and over. Now is the time to take heed. Stop. Comparing. Yourself. To. Those. In. The. Media. I mean now. Stop it!!
We are highly impacted by media in our lives and we often recognize unrealistic beauty standards for what they are, yet we can’t just get over them. But there has to be a way, right? Yes. and that way is to stop the comparison. Seriously, people studied it and stuff.
Take Care of Your Body
Now why didn’t we think of that? It’s so obvious! This one may seem like a no-brainer, but for people in a bad cycle of negative feelings and the natural consequences, it is an extremely difficult thing to do, especially if they are overweight.
It’s not easy, but it’s simple. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise. Not only will you reap the benefit of a flood of endorphins and other neurotransmitters, but you may actually feel physically better after you’ve been doing it for a while. Your brain can change with your body-it’s all about the mind set.
Wear Whatever the Hell You Want.
Yes, I said it. Wear whatever you want. Several years ago, when I weighed about 80 pounds more than I do right now, I took my children to the Water Park. It was an all-day adventure. I walked around all through that place, climbing stairs, waiting in lines, and hurling myself down plastic inclines of death all in my little black string-tie bikini.
Why? Because being brave enough to wear a bikini was on my bucket list. Plus I wanted to pass along the message to my girls through example. Turns out they took the hint. There is no body shaming in our family, period. And, the only negative thing I got out of that experience was a wicked sun burn. Ouch!
Keep a Top 10 List
Quick! What are 10 things you like about yourself? Write them down. Now stick the list to your mirror. Make copies and hang them up on your walls, plaster them to your fridge, and stuff them in your underwear drawer.
Why? Because self-talk is tricky. It takes way more positive statements to cancel out a negative one in our heads. Think about how you are thinking. Instead of looking in the mirror and saying “I look like crap”, you can gaze into the mirror and read off your list. Out loud.
Rock Out With Your Socks Out
Finally, keep a playlist of body-positive, empowering songs to rock out to whenever you are feeling down about yourself. There are plenty of them out there. Find the ones that speak to you and get down with your bad self. Regularly.
I hope this has helped in some way. Go on, show yourself some love. By doing this for yourself, you will also be helping the movement forward my passing on the message of body positivity. Give back to society by loving the skin you’re in!