Body positivity simply means accepting people of all shapes and sizes without judging/being judged.
Unfortunately, the world that we live in makes it hard to do that. Here I want to talk about body positivity in terms of the self, because we tend to judge ourselves more than others.
It is difficult to develop a positive relationship with your body if you’re anything less than perfect. We’re surrounded by “ideal” body goals and expectations. Flat abs, skinny arms, big breasts, thigh gap, narrow hips, long shiny wavy hair, flawless skin, bubble butt, zero body hair, etc.
I am overweight by a couple of kilos. I feel like accepting and loving oneself is less of a goal and more of a constant conscious effort. You can’t just “achieve” body positivity and that’s it. You have to learn to love yourself every day, and sometimes it can be a struggle.
A couple of weeks back I met a friend for brunch. I noticed that she’d lost some weight, I told her that she looked good. I, on the other hand, had gained 2 kilos since I last saw her. She ordered coffee while I ordered an ice-cream float. Before I could realize, I found myself justifying why I ordered a sugar filled sweet drink instead of coffee. I was telling her “I know I’ve gained weight and I shouldn’t be drinking this, but I don’t really care… I’m okay with not thinning down, and indulging now and then.” The minute I said it I realized that I wouldn’t be justifying drinking that drink if I was okay with my body. My friend just looked at me and said, “Why are you telling me this? I didn’t question your choice of drink.” I realized it was a habit, that I was doing it with everyone, every time I made a less healthy choice. Now I have to consciously stop myself from apologizing for my “fat habits”.
Another incident that happened a couple of days back got to me. I was shopping online for some nightwear, something pretty and sexy. I went on this leading intimate wear website and started looking at those satiny things. Then I used the size charts to see stuff in my size, and I kid you not, they had nothing but ugly beige stuff in my size. I weigh 67 kilos (roughly 148 lbs) and I’m not even an XXL size on a famous website? Some of the tops fit, but the bottoms were too small. So, it’s obviously okay to have tops that fit bigger breasts but if they’re also accompanied with bigger hips, you’re out of the equation? Are we not allowed to wear sexy things? It was very discouraging. I wondered if I should start shopping in plus size sections already. Although, of course I know that’s ridiculous. Because a) I’m not that big and b) the whole concept of categorizing and differentiating clothes into regular and plus-size is stupid.
Body positivity is about having the courage to love your body in a world that will always make you feel like it’s not good enough. It’s about choosing to appreciate what you have instead of criticizing. Sometimes it’s tough, but we got to try.