I am not sure there is anyone alive or dead who has not been scoffed at, made fun of, or told directly that they are in dire need of a make over. That is and has been the nature of our culture; to focus on the external and suffocate and suppress the internal.
It is one of the worst things about going to school; the anxiety that someone will put you down for the way you look. This fear is not unfounded, bullying behavior has been a problem ever since schools were created.
And the family. There is always someone remarking on your skin, your body, your clothes, your hair, or your shoes. It is one reason family holidays are so grueling; the fear of judgement.
We don't even know what we can do. We are literally in the dark about just what the human body is capable of. We only use a fraction of our brains, and have spent the past several decades suppressing, instead of exploring and discovering our potential.
This is what it means to be body positive; to understand, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what is going on inside your body is a mystery that you have the unbelieveable opportunity to explore over the course of your life.
Being body positive is not necessarily about loving your body. It is about respecting your body. It is about caring for your body. It is discovering all the amazing things your body can do. We have been taught to focus on image. How much hair we do or don't have, if we are large or small, young or old. This focus keeps us from discovering ourselves. This keeps us from our potential and it keeps us from seeing the potential in others. For if we do not take the time to focus on our own abilities and hidden talents, there is no way we will take the time to see that stuff in other people.
People ask me all the time how to love their bodies. There is one answer for everyone, but the path each person takes must be their own. Get to know your body. Give it what it needs. Listen to it. Care for it. See what it can do if given the opportunity. You will never know how great you can be if you are focusing on all the ways you do not measure up to society's ridiculous standards. Stop looking at pictures that make you feel bad. Don't buy products which are innately geared to communicate your failings to you. Stop dieting.
Accept the reality that this culture wants you to be profitable, not well adjusted, not healthy, and not self-sufficient. Don't take it personally. Just go about your life as if the society in which you live will challenge you to forget your own best interest. If you can move about the world understanding that you are more valuable than what your image could portray, then you are already ahead of the game.
Body positive means having a solid relationship with your body, your innards, your particular flavor of freak. You must champion your cause. Be the inspiration for others to do the same. Shine your light so that it blinds the motherfuckers who are trying to sell you the latest anti-wrinkle cream.
And after all that work, after you have figured out how to focus on you, after you have developed a healthy relationship with your body, I bet you will also discover a love for it which will astonish even you.
Body Positive and PROUD of it. Share, email it, Tweet it, FB, whatever the kids are doing these days. And THANKS for stopping by!
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