Body positivity is a social movement that helps people accept their bodies and love them unconditionally. Find out how to do that in this article.
Body positivity is much more than a hashtag on Instagram. It is a social movement that holds the following view: everyone deserves to feel good in their own body – regardless of size, weight, shape, or appearance.
The movement aims to create awareness about different body images and discrimination against them. Body Positivity also strives for acceptance for people with impairments, illnesses or unusual skin images – regardless of skin color or sexual orientation.
The movement shows how different bodies are and how beautiful this uniqueness is. In the process, it becomes clear how many people are dissatisfied with their own bodies or feel different in some way.
Learning to accept and love your own body is a big task. In this article we will show five steps to feel more comfortable in your body.
1) Pay Attention to Your Body for More Body Positivity
Listen to your body.
Your body knows what’s good for you and what you need. You just need to recognize and heed its signals. Think of your body as a partner, so you can work with it instead of against it.
The following tips can help you achieve your goal of body positivity:
- Take time for yourself. Constant noise and hustle and bustle drown out your body’s signals.
- Be aware of your limits and give yourself breaks when you need them. This applies to both your professional and personal life.
- Extensive self-reflection and techniques such as meditation or mindfulness exercises can help you better understand yourself and your body. This is how you get to know your body signals.
- Take time to consciously take care of your body. For example, you can oil your skin and give yourself a gentle massage.
- Choose care products that are good for you and the environment.
- Reward yourself with things that are really good for you, like a visit to the sauna or a professional massage.
2) Self-Care for Body Positivity
Take good care of your body.
Your body is a complex miracle and you only have this one. While it is not an easy task to take comprehensive care of your body, it is all the more important. Body positivity also means being caring and loving with your body.
The following tips can help you on your way to a healthy lifestyle:
- Stop unhealthy diets. Your body needs nutrients and deserves a balanced diet. Most diets are only successful in the short term anyway and do not provide your body with enough nutrients.
- A regular sleep schedule helps your body recover. An evening routine can be helpful in this regard. Have a look at our article on 3 meditation exercises to fall asleep.
- Regular exercise is essential for both physical and mental health. For example, it boosts the cardiovascular system and promotes a sense of well-being. According to Time USA, every step supports good health.
- It’s not necessary to follow a strict exercise regimen. Walks in the fresh air, dancing, or yoga – you have many ways to keep your body healthy. Try new things, too: This is how you find the right sport for you.
3) Your Body for Your Achievements
Appreciate your body for what it does.
You breathe in and out about 20,000 times a day. During this process, the lungs enrich the blood with oxygen and release carbon dioxide back into the air. The heart pumps 100,000 times a day, supplying your organs with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. And all this happens without your conscious participation.
Your body performs incredible feats every day. Yet, in our society, we usually judge bodies based on superficial criteria. Body positivity stands for a good body feeling, regardless of the outer appearance.
The following tips can help you appreciate your body for its achievements and thus appreciate it:
- Observe your thoughts and statements about your body. Would you talk that way to your best friend or family? Stop yourself when you realize that you are judging yourself based on your appearance.
- Positive affirmations or a self-chosen mantra can help you be more loving with your body. Think of a phrase that reminds you that your body is valuable. You can repeat it over and over in your mind. This is especially effective in difficult situations or when you are unhappy with your body.
- The fact that you are healthy and can lead your life independently cannot be taken for granted. Write in a diary and record what you are grateful for.
4) Your Value Cannot Be Measured in Numbers
Stop reducing yourself to your weight.
For more body positivity, realize that you are not the number on the scale, your BMI, or your dress size. Your value can’t be calculated by your girth either.
In addition, values such as the BMI can not accurately assess each. This is because the value only takes height and weight into account, but does not distinguish between muscle and fat mass. Therefore, the results are often misleading.
These tips can help you stop measuring your body by a number:
- Stop letting the number on the scale determine your mood. To monitor your weight progress over the long term, it’s enough to weigh yourself about once a month. Getting on the scale every day is not necessary. With sufficient attention to your body, you will notice how your weight develops even without scales.
- Remember, your weight is constantly changing and small fluctuations are normal.
- Also, by constantly looking in the mirror, you reduce yourself more to your appearance than necessary.
- Instead, pay attention to your body’s signals. If you feel comfortable in your skin and have enough energy for your day, your weight is right.
5) Appreciate Your Uniqueness for More Body Positivity
Stop comparing yourself.
Especially through social media like Instagram or Facebook, it’s easier than ever to compare your body to others. Yet not all body types are represented on these platforms in particular – most of the time you see photos of slim, toned people. Body Positivity stands for diversity and wants to encourage people to feel beautiful – even if they don’t conform to society’s ideal image.
Body Positivity shows that everybody is unique and therefore beautiful. Even without shaving, working out, or the latest styles.
Learn to appreciate your uniqueness with these tips:
- Subscribe to inspiring channels and delete accounts from your stream that only make you unhappy.
- If you’re heavily influenced by social media, it may be time for a digital detox.
- Question your everyday choices. Do you choose your clothes because they’re fashionable? Would you like to wear belly-baring but don’t dare? Are you really uncomfortable with unshaven armpits? Free yourself from social pressure and norms and live authentically.
Criticism of Body Positivity
Especially on the net and in advertising, Body Positivity is a big topic. It is welcome that more and more people stand by their figure and that even big companies like H&M employ models with different clothing sizes. Or that Nike uses plus-size mannequins.
Nevertheless, more and more voices are being raised against the trend. “Do I actually have to constantly emphasize that I LOVE my body?” a well-known influencer fights back on Instagram.
Moreover, the movement is divided within itself. “If a thin, white, cis woman with no physical disabilities claims this movement for herself – and, for example, posts a photo of herself on Instagram eating a slice of pizza with little belly rolls and writes #bodypositivity underneath – then that’s not okay,” bloggers Julia and Esin, for example, tell Vice. On their blog “We would have to talk” they deal intensively with the topic.
Body positivity can help many people learn to value their own bodies. But strictly speaking, it is another movement that focuses on people (especially women) mainly in terms of their appearance. Yes, in a positive and appreciative way. But critics argue that it’s time for people to define themselves more in terms of appearances – and instead in terms of things like talents, skills, or ideas.