Body Positivity Blog
The world has shown us that nothing is as it once was. Life has changed – perhaps forever. But it’s not all bad news. Many aspects of our lives have, in fact, changed for the better. With all that is going on as we continue to live through the pandemic, there is no doubt that in some respects, positive pivots have been made.
One change for the better of life in this decade is a far greater acceptance of people of all genders, religions, sexual orientations and body sizes. The latter is what we’re here to write about now and nothing gives us greater pause for a massive ‘hoorah’ than the outdated and dizzyingly dangerous notion of beauty being equated with ‘skinniness’. That ship has well and truly sailed – and thank goodness for that, because nowadays we know that beautiful bodies come in all shapes and sizes and that health and vitality are the cornerstones of beauty – in other words, beauty that shines from within.
Societal acceptance of different body shapes and sizes is one thing but accepting ourselves and loving the skin we’re in is a whole different story. No matter what we are told is acceptable or beautiful, if we don’t love ourselves as we are – the rest is meaningless. All the talk of ‘self-love’ and ‘self-acceptance’ means nothing if, when we stand naked and glance in the mirror, we don’t like what we see. For some of us, negative thoughts about our bodies have been years, decades or even lifetimes in the making and they take time to reprogram. If you’ve developed any ingrained messages about hating parts or all of your body, you won’t be able to magically undo that damage overnight – but with a committed attitude to change and the right tools or strategies – it IS possible to overcome.
If we truly want to feel good about ourselves, we need to accept our bodies just as they are, right now! That includes bums, boobs, thighs and arms! ALL of it! And while here at Artesands we mainly talk about our curvy babes, the term ‘body positivity’ is about accepting our so-called flaws, being happy with ourselves and embracing our shape – whatever that is. But mainstream thinking has been mainly about accepting larger or curvier bodies as beautiful. Although the movement has gained momentum in recent years, it’s remarkable to us that this is even an issue. We genuinely believe all bodies are beautiful – but more so, we really think that the curvy, strong, voluptuous female body is the epitome of beauty.
Unfortunately, not everyone who is curvy or has bigger boobs, feels good about themselves. Thank goodness there are some incredible role models for larger bodies on social media who have dedicated their careers to promoting acceptance and equality for larger women. But as we’ve said before, the battle starts within and must begin with our heads and our self-talk.
As we lighten the layers of our clothing this Spring, so we should begin to lighten the mental load that self-loathing brings and give back that space in our heads to more meaningful pursuits.
Here are a few ways to begin to love ourselves just that little bit more:
1. Start with baby steps
Maybe the problem is we’re trying to love our bodies, entirely, every single day. That’s an impossible standard to set for ourselves. If we start with just noticing and appreciating our bodies for the incredible machines they are, that in itself, is a big step in the right direction. Then slowly, each day, choose one more part of your body that you like, or even part of a part! It may be your top lip, your ears, the smoothness of your skin or even the shape of your knees. Just start appreciating the individual parts that make up the whole. Gradually, you will start to feel a sense of gratitude and appreciation for what you have and that can ultimately help us to love our whole bodies more.
2. Focus on being healthy
As you begin to notice and appreciate the power of your body and its workings, you will start to want to take better care of it, feed it well and move it every day. Making a mental separation between the appearance of your body and your health means detaching the emotional feelings you have about your shape, from just wanting to live a healthy life. Choose to exercise not because you want to shed kilos, but because you want to get your heart rate up because you know it’s good for you. Shop in the outer isles of the supermarket where the fresh produce is kept and follow inspirational cooks to get ideas for beautiful, healthy meals.
3. Quit comparing yourself to others
The tendency to compare ourselves to others is one of the most harmful activities when it comes to trying to love our own bodies more. It happens to every woman and sometimes it affects us curvy girls more than most. Comparisons come from our need to self-evaluate: How do I measure up? And we are not short of places to turn where all we can see is how we fall short against certain societal standards of beauty. STOP! Just stop. Start becoming aware of where this mystic standard of perfection exists and if it is even real! Ask yourself who is telling you that you don’t measure up or that you’re not good enough? Who sets these ridiculous standards and who says that’s what ‘beauty’ is? Become your own best friend, your own lover and your own secret admirer. Speak kindly to yourself as if you were a fragile child. Question where you go in search of your soul-inspiration and reassess if it’s serving you well. Then start again and love yourself for no other reason than you are you. Beautiful, unique, bloody wonderful you!
You are so much more than your body and your purpose on this planet is much bigger than the shape of the skin you’re in. Love yourself. Love your curves. Love the person you are!
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