Body positivity is not a trend. It’s not something people want to shove down your throat. It’s just about being fucking time that we stop having one model of people to look like.
This is something really close to my heart because up to this day I still have days where I struggle with negative thoughts about my body. I try my best not to. And whenever that happens I stop and say to myself « this is not what you really think, this is what you’ve been taught to think ». And it’s all about that really, all your negative thoughts don’t come from within. You as a baby, a tiny human being, don’t have any kind of notions about bodies and shapes or things like that. As you grow up, you start hearing people around you making comments about other people’s bodies, so you start to check your own, see if it fits in the mold, if it looks like everyone else’s, people on your tv screen and magasines, and you wonder why it’s different. You start judging it, and cataloguing every little thing wrong about it. And when you hit puberty you start adding stretch marks, cellulite and other fun stuff to the count. You don’t get how everything’s you see on magazines or on tv is airbrushed, you’re not familiar with the term, and by the time you will be, your brain will have received enough negative connotations for it to matter anyway. So you start shrinking, and try your best to look small, to control yourself, to lose weight, to look like someone you’re not.
No one in school taught you to love your body, they taught you to love your country, to love god, to love your parents and your family, and those are good values, but they’re not nearly enough. Cause it’s because the lack of love you have for yourself, that you forbid yourself to do so many things. Someone who hates their appearance, won’t have nearly enough confidence to try and present something in front of the class, won’t want to attend group meetings, won’t think that their voice matter. Because there’s this confusion that starts to form between how you perceive your body, and how you perceive yourself in general. You’re gonna start thinking that those little belly rolls your body make when you sit, are everything people are gonna focus on, you’re gonna think about it so much that you might cancel a date with your boyfriend, a presentation you could have done, a picture you no longer wish to appear in. It might be your body, your hair, your face, something you think is wrong with you, that with time, you start thinking is the only thing that matters about you at all.
There’s a quote from « The Beauty Myth » by Naomi Wolf that resonates profoundly “A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.” If you spend most of your time thinking about your body and the multiple changes you have to give it, you’re wasting a lot of your time thinking about that and not enough time on something else more important, more relevant. You’re wasting opportunities, people, chances, by thinking over and over again of how bad you look, how ugly, how unworthy. It’s true for everyone, not just women, though it touches them more, but our generation is prone to be extremely self conscious, and cares way too much about looks, and whether or not we’re deemed attractive by society’s standards.
If you can’t talk nicely to yourself, about yourself, at least don’t give in to a society who wants you to be obsessed with something that doesn’t matter at all, that wants you to stay insecure, to sell you diets, even more beauty products that’ll help you get rid of this and that, hundreds of things you don’t actually need. Be at least strong to face something that wants to diminish you.
It’s really hard to change your way of thinking after years of thinking the same way, you can read tons of article talking about how you should love your body yet still hate yours, but the trick is just that; keep reading these articles, follow body positive instagram accounts, surround yourself by positive imagery instead of a negative toxic one, if you see more people that look like you, it might help with the way you view yourself, instead of looking purposely at pictures of people you wish you could look like. It’s 2016, representation might not be everywhere, certainly not on the movie screens, but at least it’s on social media and that’s already something.
Always remember that what you think of yourself is not your truth, it’s what you’ve been conditioned to think. We’re billions of people in this planet, we absolutely don’t all look the same. Your body is yours, and your face is yours for the rest of your life, so either you spend your life hating yourself, or start loving yourself. What is it gonna be ?