Following a few wordy posts on the subject of body positivity, Hannah from over at HannahGetsHench (TW: dieting, weight loss but she’s a top gal becoming more and more bopo by the day) suggested I compile a list of actions we can all take to become more body positive starting right now. So with a little help from my friend Daisy over at Daisy Says I have put together 8 top tips.
Read – We are guilty of believing everything mass media tells us when it comes to health and body image but as soon as you start to read around the topic you realise there is so much more to it. I would recommend “Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon PhD and “Fat is a Feminist Issue” by Susie Orbach. The latter was recommended to me by my secondary school English teacher as a young woman struggling with body image and it is certainly eye-opening. It’s been a long time since I last read it but I believe it’s regularly revised.
Unfollow Triggering Social Media Accounts – Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and continue to follow and look at images that make us feel inadequate. We tell ourselves it’s to “motivate” us but all it’s doing is slowly chipping away at our self esteem.
Follow Positive Accounts – These kind of accounts could be different for everyone. It may be pictures of cute animals or landscapes or it might be body positive accounts. I have spoken to a woman who is body positive and continuing to work on it but still finds the comparison that can be drawn from looking at how confident certain body positive activists are difficult to deal with. It’s all about finding what works for you.
Wear Clothes That Push You Out Of Your Comfort Zone – For the longest time I believed I couldn’t or shouldn’t wear a crop top because I didn’t (and don’t) have a flat stomach. As soon as I let go of that and actually wore one it felt amazing. Firstly because it’s adorable and secondly it’s a massive body positive win and you feel like you’ve really accomplished something.
Wear Outfits That Make You Feel Great – This is the modified/beginners version of the tip above but also stands alone. If you’re not quite ready to push out of your comfort zone, rock those outfits that make you feel great already.
Treating yourself to new clothes (or second hand from charity shops if money is tight like me) that fit properly and look great on you instantly lifts your mood. Many of us fall into the trap of hanging on to ill-fitting clothes in the hope that they’ll fit one day but life is happening now, not at a random point in the future so finding lovely clothes for the here and now is a must.
Embrace Your Vanity – Stand in front of the mirror and list all the things you like about yourself. If you are in a really dark place and genuinely can’t see the positives in yourself at that point, list the great things that your body can DO for you. I wrote a whole post on how to deal with those negative days. You can read that here.
Ignore Other People’s Opinions – When discussing this post, Daisy put this in such an interesting way which was “other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.” Just as you wouldn’t worry about other people’s financial affairs or sex lives you have no reason to worry about their opinions of you and your body/lifestyle.
Stop Judging Other People – We’ve all done this! We’ve seen someone walking around wearing something we don’t think suits them and whether internally or externally we’ve vocalised that thought. By doing that we’re not really limiting the other person (unless you make a direct comment, don’t do that) , they’re out there doing their thing and probably rocking it, but our judgmental attitude is limiting ourselves. There is a whole post on body shaming and why it’s toxic to you and everyone around you here.
I have tried to give you some proactive things to do rather than just things not to do but the last one is very important.
If you have any other tips then please leave a comment below.