Something that I have been wanting to write about since… well, since before there even was a blog, is body positivity. It seems that the definition for body positivity got lost and these days everybody associates loving your body as condoning bad habits or bingeing on unhealthy foods. It doesn’t. I believe that body positivity it’s a sort of journey and is not confided by a race, size, gender or height – it is being content with your body, right now. This was the definition that I found from Urban Dictionary:
Being the humans that we are, women tend to be more concerned about their looks, than men. For years, we’ve allowed media to bully us and tell us how we should look and feel about our bodies, prompting several eating disorders where it seems that we either eat our emotions or count the calories in a piece of gum, to replace dinner. Whichever side of the spectrum you’re on, know that you’re not alone.
For years, I have obsessed over my body, my fat thighs and chunky arms. If I am honest, I can’t even look at my wedding photos without wanting to cry and nit-pick at the size of my arms or bloated face. Throughout my schooling career I was so aware of being chunkier than the other tall and skinny girls that I managed to speak my way out of ever dipping my toes into our primary school’s pool and ended up missing majority of my phys ed. classes before attending a college that no longer required sports as a curricular activity.
My mom has tried every diet under the sun, from Nobese to Duramine, from Paleo to Ducan and from cabbage soup to drinking 2l of Cayenne pepper in water which made you puke – she’s done it and I have too. It’s no secret that a lot of our insecurities root from the women in our lives, so just as my mom didn’t know how to be kinder to her own body, neither did her 3 older sisters or their mom and I am sure that if my great-granny were still around, she would tell me the same. The degree of influence that we have on one another, became disgustingly obvious, when my 4-year-old sister climbed out the bath and exclaimed that she had fat thighs. Those words struck a chord and I immediately identified that they were mine. That was all she ever heard me saying when I should have been using positive affirmations. Luckily, these days, my nearly 13-year-old sister is far away from any negativity concerning her looks and is raised by her dad who has taught her to become a confident young women, who makes me so darn proud.
So what am I trying to get at?
Well, I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s about time we learn to be a little kinder to ourselves. Yes, I am sure we could all do with some healthier habits, some of you may want to pick up weight, tone muscle or shed some pounds. But that doesn’t mean we need to tear apart the body that currently stands in front of the mirror. Those harsh words that echo in your head is what is standing between you and ever reaching those goals, because you’ll only ever see the picture that you’re painting of yourself, instead of the incredibly strong woman who you are. Finding new ways to build yourself up, will give you the confidence to face another day but the true beauty is that your good spirit will be contagious and once you’ve started being nicer to yourself, the women around you will see how gorgeous they are, too!
It’s about time that we learn to empower one another and acknowledge that it’s not about fitting into a certain size, or meeting a certain weight. We are unique and our bodies are different from each other, but that’s what makes us so damn gorgeously beautiful. The sooner that we start making these changes, the sooner our kids will change also change the way they think and perhaps our grandkids may never relate to the underlying issue that’s stopping me from wearing a spaghetti strap top.