A note on the importance of being body positive
|Body positivity doesn't mean you are thin. Body positivity doesn’t mean that you fit into what society thinks you should look like. Body positivity means that you are happy with you, no matter what your shape and size is. It doesn't matter how many people tell you that you are beautiful, hot, sexy, or whatever descriptive terms they use. What matters in the end is that the person looking in the mirror is happy. No one is responsible for this except you, no matter what your power orientation is. People can be encouraging and motivational, in the end it is what you do with what they have said or done.
Don't think for a moment that this is about size. Size doesn't matter when it comes to body positivity. Size like age, is just a number. A person can be one hundred pounds and not be happy about their body, while on the other hand someone can be four hundred pounds and be the happiest person in the world. Weight doesn’t define a person just because they have a certain number attached to them, just like you can’t tell how mature someone is by the number of years that they have been alive.
People have said to me before that they wished they had my legs, while I know they were intending it to be a compliment all I see is that I have bird legs which isn't a compliment to me, all I can think is why in the world would anyone want legs like this? They are too skinny, if I stood on one of them and dressed in all pink I would look like a flamingo. People with body image issues that don’t know how to accept your compliment are not trying to invalidate what you are telling them; a lot of the time it is hard for them to see so they think that you are just trying to be nice to them. Your feelings are just as valid as theirs are even though they don’t meet up with one another.
Society plays a big part of body positivity. By society's standards we are all supposed to strive to be skinny and have a "swimsuit" body. What I don't think society realizes is that every body is a "swimsuit" body. Some of us choose to wear a revealing one while others of us go for a more modest one. Doesn't mean that we love our bodies even if we are wearing the revealing one, likewise it doesn't mean that we hate our bodies if we wear a modest one.
While we don't want people to lie to us, we also don't want hurt by words. Choosing which words you use when talking to people about their body image is very important. There is the old saying "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." The wrong words can be very damaging and can tear apart progress.
Words are the most powerful things in the world. They can wound and hurt or they can soothe and heal. They can tear down and destroy or they can build the most beautiful world. We all know that everyone has a differing opinion on what is beautiful, hence the saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you don't think that someone is beautiful, don't lie about it, but also don't tear someone down who doesn't fit your perception of beautiful.
I am by no means an expert on this subject nor claim to be. If you know someone who is not body positive and you love or care about them ask them what you can do for them to help them out. It may be that they just need to know that someone loves them or cares enough to even ask. It may be that they need words of encouragement. Or maybe they need the occasional hug. What they want is up to each individual person, some things will work for certain people but not for others.
This subject is important to me because I love people, I love them with my heart and they deserve to be happy. Not just the happy that we pretend so that people won't bombard us with what's wrongs and such. But the happy deep in the core of their heart. The happy that makes their soul sing. If we lived in a world where people were happy with their bodies, it would be a much better place.
To me there is beauty in everything. Find it in yourself, find it in others. It will make you a much happier person. It doesn’t matter what society says, it matters what is in your heart.
May everyone reading this find Peace, Love, and Happiness.