What is body positivity and how important is it?
Helping our daughters (and sons!) understand that what they see on INSTAGRAM is not always real life is such a THING! When we were growing up, social media didn't even exist, so while we still had models in magazines shaping our idea of the ideal look to aspire to, we didn't have it 24/7, in our hands (by way of a smart phone) and all through our feeds ... that they look at multiple times a day. With so-called "average people" (hello, influencers!) showing us their daily "perfect" lives ... it can be so hard for our children to differentiate between what's real and what's not.
Helping our kids understand that filters and editing apps are what's being used to get that "perfect" look, that snap chat filters can change the way we present ourselves to the world, that it's not often that we see much REAL out there in photos.
We're here, helping to promote BODY POSITIVITY!
But, what is BODY POSITIVITY anyway? Well, body positivity is all about loving and taking good care of one's body regardless of any physical imperfections and cultural beauty standards.
Over the years, the definition of beauty has evolved and changed (think Twiggy, think Marilyn Monroe - both completely different types of bodies, and in their times, both body shapes that were admired and aspired to). Check out this video showing how "beauty" was defined over the years ... and check out the last example, the 2000s, and note that it's all about the plastic surgery to achieve this look!
Interesting huh?! Watching that, which time do you think best suited your body shape? It's a great short video to watch with your kids, and use it as a chance to discuss how ideals change over time ... and that it's impossible for us all to be the "ideal" at the same time! History certainly proves that!!!
The body positivity movement was established in order to widen the range of bodies considered acceptable by many. This movement challenges societal beliefs around the ideal shape, size and appearance of men and women. It's been around for decades and has grown enormously in terms of the number of people supporting and standing up with them to end different standards of beauty!
Some of the goals of the body positivity movement are:
- Challenging how society views the body
- Promoting the acceptance of all bodies
- Helping people build confidence and acceptance of their own bodies
- Addressing unrealistic body standards
We've written this article to remind all of us parents, grandparents and caregivers about the importance of talking and encouraging our tweens and teens to love their bodies and be confident about themselves even if some people say otherwise. We want to help them understand that they have the choice to let negativity hold space in their heads, OR they can ignore it completely!
To help you to help them, here are 5 top tips to enhance body positivity:
💗 Tip#1: Say a daily mantra in front of your mirror
Positive mantras can heavily impact a person's view of things. Say the words "I can do this," "I've got this," "I'm enough," "I'm beautiful just as I am" to yourself in front of the mirror every morning because you deserve it and you're worth it! As Tony Robbins says, "Where focus goes, energy flows" so when we focus on positive words and affirmations when we look in the mirror rather than focusing on all our flaws, we're setting ourselves up for a better mindset.
💗 Tip#2: Don't do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you!
If you want to be treated fairly, treat others fairly. Words are so incredibly powerful and once spoken (or written) they can't be taken back. This is the golden rule because it applies to everything! Speak kind words to others because (a) the world will be a better place and (b) we want kindness coming back at us!
💗 Tip#3: Learn to accept a compliment
Some people, when they receive a compliment, brush it off. By doing that, they may think they're just being humble, but in fact they're actually putting themselves down. Show your gratitude instead; with head held high, say THANK YOU and be happy that someone has noticed how beautiful you really are inside and out!
💗 Tip#4: Buy or wear clothes that you are comfortable wearing
According to the Centre for Discovery, experts have found that we spend approximately 16 mins every weekday deciding what to wear. WOW. Are we dressing for others, or are we dressing for ourselves? Help your children understand that dressing for comfort and for the situation (and the weather!) is so much more important than dressing because an influencer tells them that's what they should wear. Remember, the influencer is probably being PAID or being sent the clothes for FREE, with the sole purpose of posting all over their socials that they're amazing! (Sometimes they MAY BE amazing, but that doesn't mean that they're right for YOU!)
💗 Tip#5: Stop comparing yourself to others!!!!
Always remember that every single body is DIFFERENT. We are all unique. There's no other person like you on this planet - there's only one YOU! ACCEPT your true self, love who you are, be authentic, and others will see what's truly hidden inside that makes you beautiful.
Say it with me, "I am beautiful just as I am!"
This TEDx talk is well worth a watch ...