Being a woman is great, it feels empowering, enlightening, and exciting, but there are challenges we all face, one being insecurity. Insecurity is a word that applies to most of the population, we all have our insecurities whether it be our hair, skin, or body, we all deal with it.
At the start of popularity for social media sites, it seemed that “thigh gaps” and very visible collarbones were what made a woman beautiful. Thankfully now, people use social media to share all different types of skin tones, hair, and bodies. Slowly but surely, brands are starting to incorporate women of color and curvy women into their campaigns, but the change starts with each of us. Here are some ways you can practice body positivity to start a ripple effect of this positive thinking.
Refrain from using “fat” as an insult, or taking it as an insult.
This way of thinking is the exemplification of body shaming. Not only is it shaming your own body or someone else’s but it perpetuates the belief that “fat” is ugly and a body that no one desires to have. In Filipino culture, it seems normal for a relative you have not seen in a while say “ay tumaba ka!”, ” uy parang tumaba ka ah!”. That is because your relative may have been raised during the height of “skinny is beautiful”.
It may be easy for some to not use this word as an insult towards others but a real challenge lies in not calling yourself fat and being negative about it. Noticing how often you use the word negatively can help transform your use of the word. Fat has never been and will never be ugly, and that should be acknowledged.
Transform your body goals from size goals to health goals
If you’re on a journey to transform your body, refrain from focusing your goals on size. For example, your goal is to drop your size from L to XS. That further perpetuates the belief of “smaller is better” when the truth of the matter is that there is no better or worse. You can transform that L to XS goal to a health goal by reframing it as “I want to feel more energetic”, “I want to be able to walk the stairs without losing my breath”. Goals like that do not focus on a number, shape, or size. Instead, they focus on how you want to feel because your intention is what matters most.
Acknowledge and accept that we’re all built differently.
The statuesque models that we see in clothing, fitness, and gym advertisements are a small population of the world. It is not mentally healthy to keep comparing oneself to a standard that can neglect so many other shapes and sizes. Recognizing that it is the uniqueness and variety of shapes and sizes that makes every woman beautiful.
At times it may feel like you’re your harshest critic and a lot of times that may be true. Instead of constantly being dissatisfied with your body and yourself. Learn to affirm yourself to practice self-love wholeheartedly.
You can affirm yourself by saying “I am healthy” “I love my body and myself” “I take care of myself” “My body nourishes and strengthens me” “I love my shape and it’s uniqueness”.
Practicing body positivity may not be easy at first, but it’s a struggle worthwhile. This will help break down the beauty standards our culture and society has set for women so that the little girls now, will forget ever being insecure about their bodies because of these standards.