A friend and I had a rather lengthy and interesting chat over drinks at Tim Hortons today. What does being body positive really mean? I think we came to a few solid conclusions, keeping in mind that not everyone will agree:
- Everyone deserves love and respect no matter what they look like.
- Everyone has a different story so it’s not mine or anyone’s place or right to judge.
- Loving your body should include taking care of it; nourishing it with nutritious and delicious food, moving your body to keep it functioning well for how you want to live your life, participate in activities that feed your soul and make you happy.
- Taking care of your body does not mean restricting it from things that you love whether that be chocolate chip cookies, salt and vinegar chips or cookies and creme ice cream. Does that mean I eat those things every day? No, of course not but it doesn’t mean I never eat them.
- If I eat good food and exercise, does that mean I am participating in diet culture? No, I am not handing over my hard-earned cash for someone to beat me over the head with how many calories I am restricted to eating or how many steps I should be walking. I am not exercising and eating well to lose weight. I am doing those things to feel good in the body I already have.
- Being body positive means that I am encouraging social media to represent all kinds of bodies in movies, TV, magazines and fashion shows so that women know that we don’t all have to be the same size to be worthy, good enough, respected and loved.
- Being body positive includes supporting and accepting people not just of different sizes but different colours, races, nationalities, sexes and abilities. It means everyone and every body has a place in the world that no one but them can fill.
- Self-love is being aware of your faults, the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself and being ok with that, knowing that no one is perfect nor should anyone strive to be or do the impossible.
- Body love means respecting yourself and expecting respect from others. It means you are allowed to distance yourself from anyone, any thing or any situation that makes you feel bad about yourself.
- Self-love, body positivity and body love means you accept, embrace and love who you are in any given moment of your life and you are doing what you need to be doing to have the happiest, longest and most fulfilled life possible for you, whatever that looks like to you.
- Your worth should be determined by these questions: Am I kind? Am I respectful? Am I helpful? Am I generous? Am I truthful? Your worth is not determined by your outside but by your inside.
This is my personal take on what body positivity is. Not everyone will agree and that’s ok. There is room for different opinions. This is how we grow, learn and evolve as humans, as long as it’s done respectfully, peacefully and no one is hurt in the process.
I am, as always, Pretty, Plus and Proud of the progress I have made in stopping the battle with my body. Since I’ve stopped hating my body, I’m happier and have opened opportunities for myself I never imagined. Life is good, not perfect but good and that to me is self-love!