Wikipedia defines Body Positivity as “a social movement initially created to empower and shed light on plus size women and men, while challenging the ways in which society presents and views the physical body. The movement advocates the acceptance of all bodies regardless of physical ability, size, gender, race, or appearance”.Body positivity. (2020, November 07). Retrieved November 11, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_positivity
Although I agree with most of the definition, I also believe that body positivity does not means you have to be plus size. Being Plus size is beautiful, but also being smaller is beautiful too. My definition of body positivity is loving all & everything that you see in the mirror. Body positivity is treating your body in a positive matter, loving your body, speaking positively about your body, and thinking positivity about your body. It is my opinion that all people have flaws that bother them. Even skinny or small build people have insecurities about their body. There are some heavy set or plus size people that have more confidence & body positivity than the smallest person next to them.
I have always been insecure about certain things on my body. I had insecurities about my appearance, and I can say for sure that none of my insecurities begun until someone around me pointed them out. It all started in elementary school when I was constantly bullied because of the gap in between my teeth. I was aware of my gap, but it never bothered me. Because of the flaws that my peers pointed out, I always smiled with my mouth closed during my teenager years & early twenties I. My negative thoughts about my body & image started with the perspectives of others, not myself.
Body positivity starts from within. You cannot focus on your friends, celebrities, or anyone else’s body. My biggest advice to women or men who deal with negative thoughts about their body, or insecurities about their looks in general is to learn to love all your flaws & learn to NEVER COMPARE yourself. My biggest issue through different phases of my life was comparisons. Do I still compare? Yes, but today I am older & wiser, and I understand that it is only a thought that I am having, and it does not determine anything else about me as a person. When I had low self-esteem in the past it stemmed from me not knowing and loving myself enough to recognize how amazing of a person I was.
My body positivity attitude started to change about 5 years ago. I had just returned from Bagram, Afghanistan leaving a deployment and I was the smallest I had ever been in life; but because I had birthed two big babies via c-section I always was self-conscious about my mom pudge. I hated the way it looked, and how my clothing fit so I went and sent 4,000 on CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting is meant to target fatty areas, and it was the biggest mistake of my life because after that procedure I only became fixated with other flaws on my body. One day it clicked in mind after a rigorous workout and me standing in my long sliver mirror nude. It hit me that my body was not the problem! I had seen how beautiful I was and realized the problem was I did not love myself.
Self- Love & Body positivity coincide with one another! My self-esteem, my thoughts about myself & my body all change once I started to genuinely love me. Loving me consisted of not tolerating mistreatment from others, not accepting and acknowledging the negative opinions from others, not allowing others to disturb my peace, eating healthier, exercising on the regular, & making sure I always put myself first. The self-love lead to me loving each and every stretch mark, embracing my cesarean pouch that welcomed beautiful & amazing children into this world, my gap in between my teeth, my forehead, & any small or big flaw that I used to focus on. I have moments of insecurities still, but I do not dwell on my image like I once did in the past.
In the past I did not even understand I was thinking negatively & being pessimistic towards my body. Body positivity will not work if you have a pessimistic attitude. Body positivity requires having a positive mindset towards loving your own body no matter what your size, gender, race, or appearance may be. You are beautiful inside and out! You are beautifully flawed! Embrace everything about who you are! Do not change or alter yourself because of others. Anatole France quote on being flawed is the best quote to repeat when you are not feeling good about yourself. “Cling to your imperfection…Your imperfections are the very essence of your being!” Remember your imperfections makes you the person you are. Your soul, inner self, & heart, are more essential than any flaw! I encourage you and challenge you from today forward to stand in a mirror and tell yourself at least three positive affirmations that you love about YOU! You are more that your outer shell, love your inner self & your outer self will appear just as beautiful as you are inside!
“Cling to your imperfection…Your imperfections are the very essence of your being!”Anatole France