Christmas party season is upon us. A time to eat, drink, be merry and feel good about yourelf while doing it.Of course not everyone will be celebrating Christmas but regardless of your faith this time of year, when workplaces wind down and schools are on holiday, it’s a great time to catch up with people and enjoy yourself. Unfortunately it’s also a time of year where the diet industry are pushing their products hard and companies are trying to sell you underwear to hide “problem areas” in your party. That’s even before we get into the language that’s being used around food during the festive season such as “being naughty”. It’s a season that’s hard to navigate with your body image and self esteem intact even for the most body positive people so I have compiled a few tips to help you on your way.
Firstly know who your allies are. Ideally these will be people who you will have around you during the festivities but if you’re not lucky enough to have any colleagues or friends who are body positive then you know that there are plenty of us that you can connect with online. You can always email me or find me on twitter for a chat. I struggle to find allies who don’t use moralistic language around food, especially at work, but I try to ignore it on a day to day basis and I’ll just carry that forward into the festive period.
It’s a terrible thing to have to consider but if you are easily affected by negative comments plan for them in advance. For example if you know that Auntie Sheila will quiz you about your weight or how much you are eating, approach her with your head held high and if you can you could even get in there first. Sometimes we have to accept that certain people are never going to be body positive and we will have to protect ourselves around them. Picking your battles and going in to social situations prepared is certainly better for your self esteem and mental health.
When picking an outfit for a party, it goes without saying to wear something that you will feel comfortable in. It’s ok if it’s not pushing you out of your comfort zone or flaunting your body. Yes, that’s a part of body positivity, but when you are catching up with people you haven’t seen for a while or surrounded by people you maybe wouldn’t normally choose to spend time with it’s ok to pick something “flattering” for an easy life. I will be doing just that for a few events over the Christmas period. It’s exhausting to fight the fight everyday and even body positive activists need time off.
The most important piece of advice really is YOU DO YOU! Wear that revealing dress if you feel good in it, eat that bit of cake if you want it and have an amazing time whatever you are getting up to.