Positive Body Image

Seeking for and Finding Body Positivity

In some ways, I wonder if we have too much time on our hands. Not that long ago, my grandparents toiled for hours on the family farm for their daily sustenance. Today, my brother feeds thousands using an automated tractor that he programs and turns loose in the field.

Today we work in more sedentary jobs. For entertainment, we tune into social media sites, scroll the news, and discover the latest influencer. Viewing the world from a distance can leave us unconnected, unhappy, and at odds with our bodies.

Body Acceptance: Your Body is a Part of Who You Are

With the changes in food production and technology, our worries have changed. We no longer worry about producing and storing enough food to get through the winter. Instead, a mental hailstorm of opinions and doubts confront us almost every waking moment. Are my thighs too big? Am I smart enough to take that class? What does my boss think of me?

I accepted my short and stout body quite some time ago. My teenage daughters, however, are in the throughs of navigating acceptance of their bodies (and what genetics has handed them). They're dealing with numerous outside influences seeking to shape their beauty standards and how they perceive and feel about themselves.

Be Kind: Everyone is on a Journey

Concerning today’s social issues and discrimination, a good friend informed me the biggest discrimination she has faced in society, in the workplace, the doctor's office, her children’s schools, and even the grocery store was all based on her plus-sized figure. She opened my eyes that fat people are socially shunned and discriminated against. Unfortunately, most plus-sized individuals deal with fat shaming.

“In every way, fat acceptance is a movement designed to promote dignity so that people of size have equal access to opportunities.”

- Evette Dionne – American Culture Writer

A person, regardless of size, is a person that deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. They are not lesser individuals who need dieting tips for losing weight. Everyone is working on something. The world will be a happier better place if we paid more attention to working on ourselves instead of working on others.

Embrace the Body Positivity Movement

Comparing yourself to others at school, the gym, or the pool fuels a negative self-body image. Obsessing about size is unhealthy and can lead to mental health issues and eating disorders.

Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your body, focus on the joys your body allows you to experience.

One of my teenage daughters is into powerlifting. She loves her big thighs that allow her to squat hundreds of pounds. My ballerina daughter doesn’t like the bulky look of her thighs. Helping my ballerina recognize her muscular thighs are directly tied to her incredible jumping capability is part of her body positivity journey.

What is a Positive Body Image?

Accepting your body as is with gratitude is what positive body image is all about. It doesn’t mean you aren’t working towards being healthier. However, it does mean you recognize people come in different body types, and your body type is part of what makes you unique and interesting.

7 Things to Help You Feel Good About Your Body

1 – Appreciate What Your Body Does

Appreciate the experiences your body gives you. Enjoy your senses

2- Develop Self Compassion 

Talk to yourself in warm, positive tones. Give yourself the same compassion you give a good friend.

3- Enjoy What You Eat 

Fuel your body with good nutritious food. When you indulge in a treat, savor its taste, texture, and richness. When you slow down when you eat, you enjoy it more and eat less.

4– Look for Positive Things

If you look for and appreciate positive things, you propagate a positive mindset. Positive people live healthier and happier lives.

Surround yourself with things and people that bring you joy. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Get that funky hair cut you love. Display art you enjoyed making.

5- Meditate Daily

How you view your body is a state of mind. Meditation clears and refocuses your mind. To promote a positive body image, try a mantra like:

  • “I am grateful for my body.”
  • “I love my body.”
  • “My body is a gift.”
  • “Have compassion.”

6- Find Purpose

What brings meaning and joy to your life? Is it dancing? Scrapbooking? Gardening? Being outdoors? Reading? Traveling?

Discover and develop a personal purpose; a mission statement. People living with purpose are busy enjoying life.

7- Avoid Media Focused on Ideal Body Image

No one has a perfect body. If you don’t view media focused on the ideal body image, you aren’t tempted to compare yourself to it.

Learning to feel comfortable in your body is a journey, not a destination. Here at Teacher Power , we support all individuals in their personal journey towards a healthy mindset and a positive body image.

 

Article by Miss Jae

 

The content of Teacher Power’s website is for information only, not advice or guarantee of outcome. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Teacher Power is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. No individuals, including those taking Teacher Power products, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnosis or self-treat any health-related condition. Teacher Power gives no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness or applicability of the content.

Sources:

Brazier, Yvette. “What is Body Image?” Medical News Today. 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249190

Hart, Lindsey. “10 Ways to Improve Your Body Image.” Huffpost. 2016. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ten-ways-to-improve-your-body-image_b_6279108

“The Power of Positive Thinking.” John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-power-of-positive-thinking

Dionne, Evette. “Here’s What Fat Acceptance Is-and Isn’t.” Yes Magazine. 2019. https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2019/06/24/fat-acceptance-movement

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