Why loving your body size and shape is so important
Jessica talks about the body positive movement and why we should all love the skin we're in.
Listen to this article, read by the author, for the In My Own Words Podcast by SpunOut.ie:
It began at an early age when I realized that I was bigger than the other kids on the playground. Even from my childhood, I never looked like the others I was with as I was always taller than them and had a little more weight on myself as well. Seeing that I looked different from the children my age, I began to become ashamed of my body. And these size issues didn’t go away when I developed into a teenager. If anything, my size became even more relevant when we started to wear tube skirts and skimpy shirts on top when going out. I think one of the lowest points for me was when I bought my first (and only) pair of Spanx. In order for me to have the perfect hourglass body shape, I tugged and pulled these extremely skintight sculpting undergarments up onto my body. I had never felt so uncomfortable in my own skin before. The Spanx attempted to hold in my body in and sculpt it while the elasticated openings pushed my fat out of them. All I can think of when I reflect on this experience was the amount of times I had to go to the bathroom to fix the uncomfortable fit it had on me. However, it was after that day, that I realized I should not literally be trying to mold into somebody else’s body shape, I needed to learn to value my assets. Slowly I began to see that I liked my curves and how they were situated on me. I didn’t need a sculpting agent to alter my flaws, I needed to learn to love my body, imperfections and all.
Body positivity is a form of self-love where we value our shapes and sizes because we are all without a doubt beautiful. It is about feeling good about your body and in turn, it helps to make you feel comfortable with who you are on the inside too. By altering how we see ourselves by accepting our imperfections, it can allow us to fall in love with who we are. There are definitely a few brilliant activists that I like to think of when it comes to body positivity. However, the person who continuously has inspired me named Megan Jayne Crabbe.
Megan Jayne Crabbe, or better known as @bodyposipanda on Instagram is one of the most influential mental health bloggers who focuses on promoting positive body image. However, her journey was not easy. When Crabbe was 14 she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Ten years after fighting her disease, she is one of the most inspiring people who has come out of the body positivity movement. In her career so far, she has written a novel called, Body Positive Power, constantly vlogs about important issues about eating disorders and redefining the meaning of “fat.” She constantly spreads her message of loving your body to over one million followers on her Instagram page. Megan Jayne Crabbe most definitely is a role model when it comes to self-love and care.
Just like Megan Jayne Crabbe, we can all be the ones to teach and encourage others about spreading the message of body positivity. It is so important now to inform everyone, children, teenagers, adults, about this significant topic. We must be proactive in teaching ourselves and others about the message of body positivity.
So here are some important things I’ve learned when it comes to self-love. Body positivity is not about being vain or conceited. It is about looking in the mirror and seeing all of the attributes that you love about yourself. Instead of only seeing our imperfections. It’s about walking confidently out of a changing room and not feeling guilty that you couldn’t fit into those pants you tried on. Everyone goes through phases where we do not feel great about our appearance, but what is important is knowing that despite what you may consider your flaws that these factors do not define you.
Body positivity is the ability to see ourselves for not what we should be, but for who we are inside and out. We need to change the common perspective of body image so that little boys and girls do not grow up feeling ashamed of their body image, like I was. I wish I knew growing up that looking different was not a bad thing, that being bigger was not something to be ashamed of, and that there is more than one definition of “the perfect size”. This is why body positivity holds such an important message, that when we learn to love our bodies, our imperfections can become perfections.