As you read these very commonly used phrases, does a picture come to your head? A certain figure, a certain size, a certain shape, even colour (we’ll keep that discussion for some other time), basically very certain attributes? For the majority i assume (unfortunately) yes. (minorities, thankyou.) And this merely in itself is a big reality check for you, I, us as a member of this society, and above it all us as humans.
While this puts you at fault, it isn’t completely your fault. Part of it is due that famous fast-food joint’s or matrimonial site’s or perfume’s ad on the TV, other part of that big hoarding of a lingerie brand, another of that very glorious fashion show, another of those family members and the nick names given by them (to kids who haven’t even as yet hit puberty), and on and on and on. The list is quite long and very hapless and appertains to all genders.
A thinking of such sorts, this ubiquitous perception, these prevalent definitions, and all in all, Body Shaming in any and every way, is largely merely not a person caused but the whole society at fault. It starts from within the families, neighbourhoods and extends to institutions, industries and more.
But if you as an individual, and furthermore an aware/informed one, continue to support or advocate it intentionally/unintentionally, and more importantly let it get to you and make you undervalue ‘you’, then that’s a bigger problem. And one that needs to be worked upon. (ASAP!)
You and we, our bodies, deserve only and only love and appreciation for all it does (A LOT), every single day and never ever hatred simply because of other people, their perceptions, their standards and labels.
For this might not be as easy as it is to write, considering the years and scale of shaming that most of us have withstood. But we hope to lead you to start your journey of loving yourself and your body just as it is.
Like how first step or foundation of everything is some inspiration, here’s yours:
Left: Selena Gomez x LA’Mariette
Right: SAVAGE X FENTY
These familiar and countless more unknown faces are out there being an inspiration, paving a path, a future for us, one that believes every body is beautiful and worthy and perfect in it’s very own way and only asking us to dare to take the first step (towards self.)
In hopes that these images and messages somewhere motivated you (even a little) to look beyond labels and hop on to this journey towards body positivity, acceptance and love, here are some ways you can actually practice it.
It’s common (and a problem) everyone we stand in front of a mirror, to have our eyes go to those parts of us first that we dislike. Change that. Choose to see and appreciate the parts of you, physical, that you like before you diss the ones you don’t, for starters. Next replace the dissing with genuine evaluation, not with the intention to bash but to better (yourself). Don’t just hate, understand what you don’t like and why and figure out what you can do it better it. Work on what you wish to change. (Only and only based on your choice and likes, NOT others’.)
Learn a New Language
“Of all the people in the world, you talk to yourself more than anyone.
Make sure you’re saying the right things.”
We often are good and uplifting when talking to others but that changes when it comes to our own selves. Say to your body, what you would say to a good friend and treat it accordingly too. Your body hears what you say to it, sees the way you look at it, feels the way you feel about it. Your body doesn’t deserve to be looked down upon, and by you of all people.
Speak it, Believe it, Affirm it
Words hold no value if they lack belief. When you speak out loud or tell your body it’s beautiful, believe it every inch and action of you. Affirmations are a great way to change the way your mind thinks and mould it into the best and kindest of the mind-set. Push and motivate yourself, remind you constantly, speak what works the best for you every night and everyday, and watch your mind get convinced.
She/He/They or the old you is NOT the (now) you.
“Someone else’s beauty is not the absence of your own.”
Stop comparing. As simple as that. Everyone is different. No body is same. And doesn’t need to be too. Embrace who you are, focus on where you are headed, learn from who you were. Comparing with others or even your own old self is disrespecting to the today’s you.
You’re more than a number.
You are so much more than the number your weighing scale shows or your measuring tape tells. That’s not how you measure your worth. You are a person, a good one, a kind one, a beautiful one or maybe even a super hilarious one. You are worthy of love and a lot more come what may.
Don’t Make Food/Exercise your Enemy
Don’t eat or exercise to look a certain way. There’s a difference in being healthy and of being a certain shape/size. Understand this. Eat good to fuel your body right. Exercise or walk or dance, to add some movement to your body everyday. Do whatever it takes to keep your body nourished and healthy. And trust me, you don’t HAVE to skip that extra scoop of ice cream for that!!
Compliments – A give and take deal.
Start compliment people round, ones in your family, or your neighbourhood, or even a random stranger. Exit the doors of a judgemental mind-set, see, accept and appreciate for who they are/how they choose to look and carry themselves. Bring a smile on people’s face whenever you can. It’s free and does a lot of good!
And similarly learn to accept compliments too. “That’s kind of you but…” NO. Don’t belittle you. Because only if you do and allow can anyone too. Acknowledge your beauty in front of others too. (Not cringy). A “Thank You” is a way better option.
The Body Positivity and Self Love journey is long, sometimes tiring and honestly has a bump or two too, but it’s beautiful. Yes, not only the destination, the journey too.
Watching yourself claim your power, give and receive love, grow in innumerable ways makes for breathtaking ride and one that you won’t ever want to take an exit from. So how about hop on now? x