7 powerful ways you can embrace body positivity, according to psychology

I recently watched a video from the Female Lead, by Megan Jayne Crabbe, a body positivity activist. It got me thinking about female body positivity and how we can bring more of that into our lives.

Read on to learn more, and learn how to love yourself for who you are.

1) It applies to all bodies not just yours

The first step to truly embracing body positivity is realizing that it is a movement that celebrates all bodies, regardless of size, shape, color or ability. We all know the saying ‘If you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love someone else?’ But what if the reverse is also true?

As Megan Jayne Crabbe puts it, “Happiness really isn’t a size, and you can be happy in the body that you have, even if it’s bigger than it once was.”

Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, and that includes people with disabilities. Megan’s sister Gemma, who has cerebral palsy, has taught her a lot about not apologizing for who she is. Megan says, “When we see disabled people represented, we tend to either get trauma porn or absolute inspiration goals. We don’t necessarily get to see disabled people being just multi-faceted human beings.”

Similarly, while many people might associate ‘the perfect body’ with being thin, this isn’t the case. And we shouldn’t assume that all women want to be that way. I’ve known many women (including me!) who have been praised or criticized for being thin, and this can be very frustrating, especially when she has health conditions that affect her weight.

2) Accept limitations and see them as part of the wonderful you

Limitations – we all have them, even the most able-bodied, fit and so-called ‘perfect-sized’ people. Some people might not be as strong as they would like, or as fast or mobile as they would wish. They may think that they would be perfect if only they had a flatter stomach or bigger bum. But in reality, there is no perfect body, or at least not by those standards. 

My wise friend Denise told me that she used to body shame herself when she was younger, not realizing that this was the best she would ever look (her words not mine, I think she looks great!). So she encourages young women to celebrate themselves as they are. I found this really empowering.

I’ve seen a girl with one leg grow up to become a dance teacher who continues to inspire generations of young dancers, and a woman who was paralysed become a support worker for the newly disabled. These women are unique, beautiful, special and talented. And most importantly, their lives have a real sense of meaning.

3) You can’t please all of the people all of the time, and you don’t need to!

I mainly live in southeast Asia, where people have a very different way of relating to bodies and the etiquette around talking about them.

For many years I was quite unwell and while that gave me a lovely flat stomach, it also made my boobs smaller and my face drawn. Regardless, health was my real priority.

But interestinly, so many people (locals and westerners) felt the need to tell me when I looked thin and that this was either a great thing or not so good, depending on whose opinion it was.

I’ve recently put on weight and now I walk around with the locals telling me that I look fat. That isn’t considered an insult here though, and most people compliment me on looking more healthy and younger. 

However, I also know (because of previous reactions) others preferred me thinner. So that’s why I can just accept that it doesn’t really matter what they think, as long as I am happy with myself!

It’s still a bit weird for me to have so many people comment on my weight but now I just laugh.

4) Perfect doesn’t exist

We might think it does, because of fake standards of beauty that are pushed on us, but perfect is a myth. For my body, I’ve realized that there are pros and cons to whatever size I am. 

When I’m thinner I can wear different clothes that look good because my figure is more petite. But when I’m fatter I (apparently) look younger and healthier. And when I’m thinner I don’t have cellulite which I prefer. But when I’m bigger my boobs go up a size which I like. And on it goes.

All of these ‘flaws’ or ‘good things’ are still subjective, and the point is that I can be proud of whatever I look like. Or if I choose, I can be down on myself whatever I look like. But why would I do that?

We also know that standards of body shapes and sizes have changed dramatically throughout history and cultures, and you only have to ask people for their preferences to realise that most people aren’t looking to date those with ‘traditional’ models’ bodies.

5) Realize that media, magazines, and the internet show us fake versions of people

So where does this idea of a ‘perfect’ body shape or type come from? I think we all know that media has presented us with a lot of photoshopped and ‘plastic-surgeried’ people. 

I once met a graphic designer from Vogue. He told me that there was a cover model whom they edited so much, that when they sent her the magazine she literally didn’t recognize herself. She actually called the magazine to ask them why they’d sent the edition to her!

And sadly, instead of getting better, it is getting worse. On the one hand I do now sometimes see adverts with body-positive images containing women of different sizes, colors and shapes. 

But on the other hand we can now become our own beauty photo editors. ‘Beauty’ filters from TikTok or other social media apps prey upon women’s feelings of being ‘less than’. This in turn encourages more women to use them which sets more fake standards.

6) You might be comparing yourself to those who wish they looked like you

While you’re busy comparing yourself to that Insta-model, guess what? Someone out there is probably looking at you wishing they had your fabulous booty/luscious locks/bright smile. 

Here’s the thing. We’ve all got something that makes us uniquely gorgeous, inside AND out. The trick is celebrating what makes you sparkle instead of fixating on “flaws.” 

Let’s be real for a moment – rewiring your brain to embrace body positivity takes time, and some days will be tougher than others. 

But you know what? You’re so worthy of feeling amazing in the skin you’re in. By celebrating ALL bodies, focusing on gratitude, accepting what makes you unique, and calling BS on unrealistic media standards, you’re well on your way to a healthier, happier relationship with that special body of yours.

7) Make a list of all the things about your body that you are grateful for

So now we know that bodies are all different and can be loved as they are. But how do we go about retrtaining our brains? Here’s one way:

Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your body, try shifting your focus to all the amazing things it can do. 

Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for. You can start simple such as your body’s ability to do physical things such as breathe, or move, and get you through each day. No matter your looks or abilities, there is always something to love about your body.

If you’re feeling stuck, consider these different categories. I’m sure you can find at least a couple of things to love and be proud of.

  • Sensory Experiences – Your ability to see, hear, touch, taste, smell and feel.
  • Strength and Resilience – Consider physical activities, overcoming challenges, or simply getting through tough times. The body comprises both inside and outside!
  • Unique Features – Maybe you have big hazel eyes, or long legs. Or perhaps a cute facial mole, Marylin Munroe style. Or a wonderfully feminine round belly. Or an interesting scar. Uniqueness is what makes us special, not looking like clones.
  • Health and Well-being – A healthy and well body is a gift, and even the ability to heal or recover from an illness can be celebrated, or the ability to eat food and be nourished.

In the words of Dr. Lindsay Kite “My body is an instrument for my use, not an ornament for others to look at.”

Struggling to Love Yourself? This Quiz Reveals Why and Shows You How

Do you sometimes feel unworthy, flawed, or not good enough? Like you’ll never measure up no matter how hard you try?

Most of us grapple with self-doubt and low self-esteem at times. And when we don’t love ourselves, it permeates everything – our relationships, our work, our inner peace.

But why is self-acceptance so hard? And how can we move from self-judgment to self-love?

That’s what this illuminating quiz dives into. It’s designed to uncover the specific barriers holding you back from embracing who you really are.

In just a few minutes, you’ll gain priceless insight into:

  • The root insecurities driving your self-criticism
  • How past emotional wounds shaped your self-perception
  • Ways you unconsciously sabotage your happiness

With this valuable self-knowledge, you’ll be equipped to start the healing process and develop true self-love.

Stop feeling plagued by not being enough. Take the quiz now to pinpoint what’s distorting your self-image so you can reclaim your sense of self-worth.

The first step is bringing awareness to the problem. The solution will follow.

Take the quiz now.

 

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