3 Ways to Make Body Positivity Work for You
By Kate Gardner
There is probably something you don't like about your body. Maybe it's your belly. Or your thighs. Or your love handles. Or maybe it's all three. In a 2015 survey, Self found that only 14 percent of women liked their body the way it was, with 80 percent of women often comparing themselves to others on social media (despite knowing these images are often edited). Other surveys have found that men are also unhappy with their weight or appearance. Men's Journal reports that between 20 to 30 percent of men are unhappy with their appearance, weight, or muscle tone.
Many of the things we dislike about our bodies are difficult, or impossible, to change without surgery. And while a healthy weight is connected to a number of health benefits, it isn't good for any of us to be stressed out and upset about our weight and appearance. That's where body positivity comes in.
The term body positivity has been around for a while now. Katherine Schreiber and Heather Hausenblas at Psychology Today surveyed people through the app, Whisper, to find out what body positivity meant to them. They found that:
- 35.1 percent define body positivity as "being okay with flaws"
- 29.3 percent define it as "loving yourself"
- 21.1 percent define it as "being confident"
- 14.5 percent of users define it as "appreciating your body"
At the heart of it, body positivity seems to be about understanding that you have worth, regardless of what your outside looks like, and appreciating all the ways your body helps you get through the day.
Making It Work
It's easy to talk about body positivity, but it can be difficult to make it a part of your daily life. The messages that we receive from social media and our culture about weight, attractiveness, and worth are so deeply ingrained in us that it is hard to contradict them with body positivity. The National Eating Disorders Association gives us a list of things we can do to make body positivity work.
Be critical of images in the media - Remember that most images on social media and in magazines are filtered or edited to some degree or another. A quick internet search turns up numerous articles that show untouched photos and their edited counterparts. It can help to see just how different editing makes people look.
Fight the negative thoughts - When you notice yourself spiraling into negative thoughts about your appearance or weight, interrupt them and replace them with something positive. For example, when you're feeling bad about your thighs, you could repeat to yourself that you are an amazing friend.
Wear clothes you like - We often try to hide what we think are our flaws, but you'll feel a lot better if you wear clothes that are comfortable and you really like.
We all deserve to feel good about ourselves!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Richland Hills, Tex.