This week’s post is a little different than usual. I want to suggest that you can change the world through practicing body positivity. I was inspired by this article discussing the recent hit “All About That Bass”.
It is so ridiculously commonplace for people, particularly women, to have extreme insecurity about their appearance. Furthermore, it is also very common for them to verbally critique their physical qualities and go to extreme, sometimes unhealthy, measures in order to change them. I believe this is wrong for a number of reasons, the top three to me are as follows:
1. When it is part of a culture for women to critique their bodies- it becomes a norm that young girls pick up on and continuously feel pressure to partake in. This could be why 80% of 10 year old girls have attempted to diet at least once in their lives.
2. When we are picking apart something that in the long run is relatively meaningless, such as our appearance, I believe we become inward-focused. This inward-focus could prevent us from effectively loving other people to the best of our abilities.
3. I really believe that we are all made in the image of God. When we critique a physical quality about ourselves that is the result of genetics, like when I regularly joke about my ears and feel certain I look like a monkey if my hair is pulled back too tightly, are we telling God that what he made, divinely imprinted, and loves, is not good enough?
This is not to say that we should not encourage healthy eating and exercise, but not for the reasons that are so commonly proclaimed. Health happens at all sizes, and body positivity does not claim that we should accept being unhealthy in an effort to accept our appearance.
However, by choosing to love ourselves and our bodies, and not verbally shaming our own appearance, we can change the world. We can choose to highlight what we like instead of what we don’t. By doing this, we are far more likely to see the beauty in others and love them better. Even more, we will be modeling to the next generation of female leaders that it is Ok, and even good, to like your body.
So, try practicing body positivity this week in a few different ways.
1. Every time you are about to make a self-deprecating comment or joke about your physical appearance, stop yourself and instead compliment someone else or yourself on a physical quality. For example, instead of mocking my own ears I could say that I like my eyes- or my friend’s hair.
2. Stop setting a weight goal for appearance and instead eat well and exercise for the sake of health. Your body is an amazing and wonderful thing, so you should take care of it!
3. Teach your daughter to love herself. Instead of telling her how you’re dieting or how her friend’s mom is gaining weight, tell her how beautiful she is.
I hope this helps you be more positive about your body and by doing so, I hope you change the world!
***I am going to Italy (!!!) for the next two weeks, so this will be my last post until early September. Have a happy and safe Labor Day!