I already wrote about body positivity (as you can find here), but I’m not very vocal about it on social media, because I feel like I talk about it all the time in real life – my friends can attest – and I forget that people that read my articles don’t necessarily hear what I say on a daily basis. To put things in perspective this time around, we’re having a guest appearance from one of our top fashion bloggers in the country (as well as my oldest friend) : Yasmine Zemmama.
Body positivity is not that hard to grasp, it basically means loving your body in the state that it actually is. Not loving the body you wish you had, not trying to look like someone else, just appreciating what nature gave you and be grateful because you get to have this particular shell for the rest of your life, that allows you to move and breathe and love. A body that allows you to see beautiful things, to experience life around you, to interact with other people. We are 8 billion people in this world, we’re bound to not look the same, it’ll be boring if we were, but in order for society to sell you stuff (diet products, energy boosters, make up, clothes, wax), you have to feel insecure. The more insecure you’ll feel, the more stuff you’ll think you’ll need, the more stuff you’ll buy, becoming the perfect consumer. As soon as January 1st rolls around the corner, you’re assaulted by diet plans « how to lose weight in three months », « get rid of your cellulite NOW », « get the thigh gap you’ve always wanted » and other lovely stuff. The message is that your body is not supposed to look like what it looks like, and you’re supposed to achieve the standards of an unrealistic cover of a photoshopped body. The models you’re trying so hard to look like don’t even look like that themselves.
Sure there are athletic people that have amazing bodies, they achieved that by working out and having a healthy lifestyle. But do you think they would have had these amazing results by hating their bodies ? You’re allowed to want to shape your body the way you envision it, but not because you hate it. It’s a shift that needs to be done inside one’s brain; I love my body, therefore I want to take care of it. Just like you would with a kid; I love that kid that doesn’t know yet how to speak, But I will teach him how to. By loving the little guy, not hating his guts ! Hating something into existence is a weird concept that only cartoon villains adopt. Those guys never had what they wanted in the end.
There are also thin people who don’t exercise and eat junk food, but you don’t necessarily think of them as unhealthy, because they appear to have what society deems as a « healthy body weight ». This is why it’s important to unlearn everything that serves to get you down. It’s not because someone is overweight that they’re unhealthy, just like it’s not because someone’s thin that they are. It’s important for you to understand that your body is yours, it’s your choice to make of it what you want. It’s your obligation to love it though. It comes along with loving yourself, you want to love and accept yourself, be self confident and overcome your fears, how would you achieve that by hating the body you’re in ?
It’s a package deal, you gotta love yourself, your whole self, in order for you to move on with your life, and achieve your dreams and life purpose. You can’t do it while being spiteful, that’s draining and life sucking. Be gentle, be kind, be understanding and forgiving. Being body positive can look different on people, not everyone is completely, a 100% detached from society’s pressure to look a certain way, but the important thing is to keep trying. Not to fall down the pits of despair by saying ‘I look gross’, ‘I hate what I see in the mirror’, ‘how can someone ever love me’. The biggest revolution you can take, is by being the person who does.
And to give an idea on how body positivity is handled in one of the most unforgiving field, I have my friend Yasmine from My Hipster Square to answer a couple of questions for us. It seems serious and stuff but we’re both in our pajamas lounging on the couch. So you know, important life questions in comfy clothes, my whole life summed up in one sentence.
I know we all have insecurities, body parts that we don’t like, that we’re not exactly fond of, have you ever let that get in the way of you first launching your blog ? Fearing that people would be criticizing of you ?
To be honest, when I first launched my blog I was really young. I was checking the fashion blogs I loved every day, keeping the tabs open to motivate myself. I was like, I need to get on that, I need to do it myself. I wanted to share how we, as teenage moroccan girls, were into fashion like every other girl on the planet. I wanted to have a voice. I started Hipster Square when I moved to Casablanca when I was 18. It’s later on that the fears came.
See after gaining a bit of following, I participated in this contest called « Je suis la mode » by Galeries Lafayette and I won. I was instantly put on the spotlight and got attacked by random strangers on the internet, about my weight, my hair, my clothes. I didn’t expect that to happen at all, I wasn’t prepared. I got upset for a couple of days but then I decided to get over it and move on with my life. I didn’t wanna let people I didn’t know get the best of me, or stop me from doing what I wanted.
How did you manage haters on the internet after that episode ?
I couldn’t control what people wrote about me in other media outlets, but I could control my own. And I decided to be clear about it, every negative comment on my site or on my social media would be removed. I wanted to share my looks and my tips, I didn’t have time to deal with unnecessary hate.
When you get dressed for a fashion event, do you feel self conscious or rather feel like you’re on top of the world and ready to kick some?
Honestly neither. I can sometimes feel really good and sometimes feel just like whatever. I like to wear clothes that flatter my shape (I know you don’t necessarily agree with this), and I like to put the light on things that I know compliment me. I can have doubts and insecurities, but I never let those come between me and my passion. I never refused to go to an event for instance because I wasn’t feeling my best. I think it’s important to always keep your head held high, and your priorities straight, be all about achieving your goal. Little setbacks are nothing in the grand scheme of life. When I see women all over the world learning how to rock their curves, I start to proudly accept and flaunt mine.