Something is being brought to my attention a lot more recently, something I’m spectacularly frustrated and disappointed by. And while it’s such a huge issue to tackle and I feel incredibly powerless being just one person, change has to begin somewhere. That ‘somewhere’ is the ‘Body Positivity Movement’; like feminism, it’s sickening that there even needs to be a movement just for equality or to love our bodies, however here we are and we can only hope that one day there won’t be a need.
In case you’re unsure of what exactly the Body Positivity Movement is, the goals and aims are to improve general outlook of body image (in women AND in men – self esteem issues, societal pressures and body image issues do not discriminate), for the media to recognise diversity in body shape, size, skin colour. It does not promote any body as being superior, whether fat, thin or anywhere in between but rather promotes the idea that all bodies are good bodies and worthy of love.
The majority of the movement takes place on social media, with Instagram appearing tro be the favoured platform. I myself, follow many body positive (or bo-po) accounts and I’ve shared some of my favourites below.
Megan Jayne Crabbe of @bodyposipanda is one of the original ‘bopo’ accounts. She inspires thousands with her Instagram posts (see right), has written a book ‘Body Positive Power: How to stop dieting, make peace with your body and live’ and is famous for her #donthatethesshake videos that promote acceptance of our bodies, jiggly bits and all!
@kay_ska is hugely inspiring and such a lovely human – she posts about a variety of things but her body positive posts are some of my favourites. The one below is a great example about how what we see in the media isn’t always an accurate depiction of reality. What we see is only what people want us to see and so it’s unfair to compare ourselves to them – we’re most likely comparing our ‘worst’ to their ‘best’.
Gina, of ‘nourishandeat’, like ‘bodyposipanda’ has recovered from an Eating Disorder and so her messages are incredibly poignant and inspiring to those who are struggling. And even if you’ve never been affected by such issues her posts are still massively inspiring and important.
‘Omgkenzie’ is amazing (amongst so many other positive adjectives!) and is the perfect example of what I would call a body positive role model.
Like most strong and inspiring people, she’s been through some crap and yet she doesn’t wallow in self pity. Instead she uses her struggles to make her stronger and help as many people as she can.
As well as being an inspiring ‘Instagrammer’ she runs ‘Self Love Bootcamps’. These ‘bootcamps’ have been a GINORMOUS help to me in my recovery, they run for an entire month and only cost $5. For the money you get access to a Facebook group filled with other ‘bootcampers’ who are inspiring and uplifting in a multitude of ways and can support you in your journey as you can support them in theirs. You also get a self love calender that has a different challenge or task for every day that you can do with what you please; most people post on Instagram and/or in the Facebook group but you can do as much or little as feel comfortable with – there are no expectations and you can do it all within the comfort of your own home.
(And no, I’m not being sponsored to say any of this, I just love Kenzie and the Bootcamps!)
Chrissie is another bopo queen that has and continues to deal with an eating disorder. She utilises her experiences to create both inspiring and informational illustrations such as the ones below. I would recommend her work to anyone who struggles with body image issues whether they have an ED or not.
There are so many more amazing people than just the five accounts mentioned that I could recommend – there’s a lot of emphasis on the negatives of social media and there is a lot of negativity out there but body positive accounts are not a part of that. I can’t thank them enough for sharing the incredible messages that help to target not only my own but an entire societies worth of insecurities (thank you).
And now to you, dear reader – whenever you feel your thoughts spiraling into criticism about your body please just stop. Pause for a minute. Because you are beautiful no matter what. Whether you have belly rolls, cellulite, thigh gap or no thigh gap, hip dips, scars, stretch marks LITERALLY WHATEVER, you are beautiful and no one should ever tell you otherwise. And if they do (because people can be d*cks sometimes) you can tell them to f*ck off (sorry for the language Mum!) and know that you are worth more than your appearance (while still being beautiful and worthy of love). Perfection doesn’t exist and so why should you be expected to achieve it? Spoiler alert – you shouldn’t be. You deserve self love no matter what, there’s no criteria that you have to fulfill before you’re allowed to love yourself.
If you make one decision today, make it the decision to accept your body, to love it no matter what.
Huge hugs to all,