Pixeldiva asks, “how does one develop a positive body image, when one knows that ones actual body isn’t as healthy as it should be, but one does not have the time or energy to make the necessary steps to get it to a reasonable state of health (not perfection) any time soon?”
A very good question indeed. Wish I had the time to do this one justice! First things first, time and energy isn’t as much of an issue as you may at first think because positive body image is all in the mind. You have to get to that point where you love what you have. It’s not necessary to look in the mirror every day and think about how much you like what you see, but you should be able to pull a fierce facial expression and just say “fuck it” rather than spend your life stressing about your body. OK, so that involves emotional energy, but there are a few simple ways to get started.
Surround yourself with positivity – Look for good role models. Follow fantastic people like Natasha Devon, Bethany Rutter and Georgina Horne on Twitter. Find some body positive blogs and be inspired by the confidence of the writers and those who comment. Unfollow people who tweet body snark or constant diet/weight updates… or call them on it.
Ignore size labels – Well, use them as a guideline for finding something that fits, but don’t get hung up on the number itself. Cut the labels out, if it helps. View your clothes as something that should fit comfortably and make you feel fabulous. Check out my blog post from 2011 on why size is just a number. Organise a clothes swap to get rid of stuff that no longer fits.
Find your look and rock it – Is bright pink lipstick your thing? Do you adore polkadots? Do you have an obsession with neon Nikes? Whatever you love to wear, get some more of it. Make it ‘your thing’ and it’ll be able to cheer you up on a regular basis rather than once in a while. Life’s too short to save the fun clothes for best.
Exchange compliments with friends – If you need a bit of a boost, dish out compliments and you’ll, inevitably get some back. Just giving them can make you feel fantastic, but creating a little mutual appreciation society can sometimes be just what you need on a bad day. Just let me know if I can help with that one.
Sevitz! Unfollow people who tweet body snark or constant diet/weight updates… or call them on it.
“because positive body image is all in the mind. You have to get to that point where you love what you have”
Excellent advice Lori.
But, it’s taken me 30 years to get to that stage (and recover from a throwaway comment made to me when I was at university – when I was, looking back at photos now, pretty perfectly sized), and accept that things ain’t ever going to be any different (you can’t change your genes – at present, anyway), and that I can either spend the rest of my life unhappy with the fact that I’m never going to be as thin as the weight charts say I should be, or be happy to be as I am.
If I was to add one thing (am I allowed?), it would be that I think it helps a lot to surround yourself with people who accept you for what you are, rather than what ‘the media’ say you should be, too. If your friends/partner make negative comments about your body, then I’d suggest it’s time to accept that they probably aren’t good people for you to have around. I’ve had to remove quite a few negative souls from my life in the last few years, but it’s made a huge difference to how I fel about most things, not least my physical appearance.
Yes, that’s a brilliant (and very important) addition. Thanks 🙂
Meant to post this last week, but body positive men to “inspire” me?
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