How to Be Truly Body Positive

Issues with the way that body positivity has been handled in our country has been a weight on my mind for many years. While both men and women experience the burden of accepting the body given to us, the conversation has mostly been geared around women. In the new year I am personally working on becoming more body positive and bettering myself. Therefore, my next few posts will be a survey of inconsistencies that I see in our society in regards to different body types, as well as what body positivity is to me.

Body positivity has been a hot topic for a few years now. To lay the ground work, I wanted to establish the main problem that I see with the body positivity movement.

Body positivity is not an excuse for unhealthy behavior.

Now, many people will assume that I am only referencing people who are overweight. Wrong. I am talking about everyone, including myself. There are a few different situations in which by promoting body positivity we could be promoting unhealthy life choices.

  • Someone who has an eating disorder and is underweight
  • Someone who struggles with self-control and past trauma who is therefore overweight
  • Someone who only feels worthy when they are extremely physically fit and are therefore married to the gym
  • Men who loathe their own body and go to extreme measures to uphold a “masculine” look because of societal pressure
  • Women who claim to only desire cosmetic surgery for their own reasons when in fact there are deep set insecurities.

All of these situations can be present behind the people we are claiming should be body positive.

Should They Be Body Positive?

Here is my issue with body positivity. I believe that it can be a beautiful thing. I have friends who have a body that is not “desirable” because of medication that they need to take in order to save their lives. Mother’s have a little bit more cushion on their edges because they have brought children into the world. Men feel the strain of working a job and taking care of children and can lose some of their muscle mass. People have a myriad of health issues that can change their body in drastic ways. But, the difference is this: some people cannot help the state of their body- others can.

Picking on myself as an example: I am underweight because of my anxiety. That is my fault. It is hard and unhealthy for my body. It would be a disservice to me if all I ever heard from family and friends was that I was beautiful and that my body was perfect the way it is. It isn’t. That is not cruel, it’s just the truth.

People get so butt-hurt about other’s making comments about their health and the state of their body. Why? Because they know they have an issue, and they don’t want to face it or they are ashamed of it. However, hiding under a bush and never letting your loved ones push you to improve your physical and mental health is not helpful to anyone. It is anything but positive.

What Should Body Positivity Be?

This is what I think body positivity is all about:

You Should Feel Worthy and Beautiful No Matter Where You Are- But Never Settle For Unhealthiness

To love other people, and to love yourself, we need to stop promoting that all bodies are perfect and saying “never change!”. Sometimes we need change. We need growth.

Everyone deserves to feel worthy, because the worth of a person is not what they look like, it is honestly just the fact that they are a person. All people are worthy. All people are beautiful in their own way. Not all people are healthy. Someone who has cancer is beautiful. They are worth love and respect, but they are far from healthy. Why is that something that we can accept and something that can be celebrated, but it is a crime to say that a person who struggles with an eating disorder is unhealthy, yet worthy?

To my family and friends- thank you for always making sure I understood I was worthy and beautiful. Thank you also for never letting me settle for being unhealthy.

Love is saying things that are hard if it means that the person you love will improve and grow. That is being positive about every body. That is hope that we can accept and respect each other, and celebrate where we are in our lives because it is absolutely beautiful, while still always growing and improving to feel our best and live an amazing, healthy life.

29 thoughts on “How to Be Truly Body Positive”

  1. I like how you put a new look on the way you should see your body. Sometimes it’s needed to change if you are not healthy. We need to take care of ourselves and not look to the media. Rachel from Explore Kid Talk

  2. I like your take on being body positive. For me, as a Personal Trainer, it’s about my clients learning to accept what is now with a view to transforming it into something that they find more desirable. It’s all about making the most of what you have right now and loving it as you work towards changing it. 🙂

    1. That is such a good way to put it! I believe you should always love where you are at, but always strive to change as well. This applies to our career, personality, and attitude as well!

  3. This is a fantastic post. I love how you look at the complexities of being body confident, and understanding it. It’s a tricky subject, and I’m sure this post will resonate with everyone who reads it.

  4. It’s refreshing to read a different opinion in body positive. I do hope people can also start to open their mind and be accepting & not judgmental on a person’s physical appearance.

  5. I need to learn to be more body positive with myself, I am supportive of others and their journey yet I am overly heard on myself, it is a big flaw. This post is a great look on the subject and I agree some people need that push in order to make the change they are looking for.

  6. Thanks for offering your views on body positivity. It is great that your post brings awareness to a different point of view. Many can benefit.

  7. In his world full of negativity, it’s truly a gift to be positive. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. 🙂

  8. Yes, body positivity is counter productive to say the least….. It promotes tolerance rather than really look into one’s health regardless of whatever is presented in media that leads to body shaming…. Health should be of paramount regardless of what looks good…

  9. What an inspiring post! I try to be body positive most of the time as I am not thin and oddly shaped. I try to think about daily exercising and healthy eating all the time.

  10. If you love yourself and your body then you can share that appreciation to others. Each of us is unique and be proud of it.

  11. I like your prospective it’s very nice.. body positivity isn’t just for overweight.. I’m underweight to due to some reasons and lying to me won’t help me at all. But telling me a lot about being really skinny and all bones only really scares me 🙈 We should try to have a healthy lifestyle.

  12. This is a great take on body positivity. I too have friends that for medical reasons struggle with the way they see their bodies (I personally think they’re stunning but this is about how you see yourself eh). Personally I find the whole body positivity thing such a delicate balance between being not being tough on yourself VS. being too lenient and using it as an excuse to be unhealthy. It’s all a learning curve though right?

  13. Body positivity sounds like self-love and self-care which ought to be paramount for each of us. Although it’s a slippery slope for so many, it can be achieved with patience, support and a mental shift. Kudos.

  14. I am feeling so negative about my body. I had a terrible accident while backpacking, somehow now my fault. Anyway, to make the long story short I have added an extra 18KG on my weight. Sometimes, I feel that I am “body positive” but often times I am so discouraged. Thanks for sharing, I will try to do what is right for my body so I can give it a lot of love.

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