The Importance of a Body-Positive Attitude
Posted on 19 July 2018
You’re standing in front of the mirror, trying on outfit after outfit, convinced each one looks worse than the one before. Finally, you give up and declare (probably through tears) that you know what the problem is: your figure. If you could just lose a little weight, you’d be better, prettier, happier. Sound familiar?
How to be Body Positive
Unfortunately, this line of thinking is far too common for people all over the world. According to the charity organization Do Something, about 91% of women report feeling unhappy with their bodies! Whether you feel too tall, too short, too thin, or too heavy, I’m here to tell you why it’s important to change that way of thinking.
The body-positivity movement has been steadily growing over the past few years. Many women (particularly those considered plus size) have a positive body image thanks to the movement’s efforts. But how does this outlook impact the everyday lives of women like you? The answer is simple: it changes everything for the better!
The Power of Thought
Inventor Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t---you’re right.” In a surprising psychological phenomenon, simply believing in yourself can drastically impact your well-being. In this way, learning how to be body positive is another form of affirmative thinking!
And this isn’t just true for your mental health either. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients who practiced a constructive perspective had longer lives, stronger immunity to the common cold, less stress and fatigue, and even disease-free hearts!
So, does this mean you can cancel your gym membership and simply spend time loving your appearance? Nope, because regular activity isn’t necessarily for vanity but also to help you maintain your physical fitness. If, however, you learn to love yourself, along with healthy eating and regular exercise, you will be downright unstoppable.
Stress Can Harm Your Health
I just mentioned that individuals who have mastered how to be body positive have less stress than their negative counterparts. This particular benefit sure sounds nice (after all, no one likes stress), but it’s not as important as a stronger immune system or healthier heart… right? WRONG! Reducing stress is a huge part of staying healthy, and a plus size positive body image will help you get there.
See, stress releases a hormone called cortisol. This hormone can lower your blood sugar, making you crave sugary foods. And if there’s too much cortisol in your system for too long (for example, if your negativity toward yourself is causing constant stress), the hormone can result in excess fat around your belly.
Of course, you are beautiful and wonderful no matter your size. But too much sugar can cause harmful diseases, such as diabetes. if you want to feel healthier and happier, reducing stress through positivity is a key element.
Stopping the Body-Shaming Cycle
Body-shaming, even towards the self, is a learned behavior. In fact, many of us can still remember the day we learned it! We watched another woman look in the mirror (our mother, grandmother, sister, friend), heard her say something like “God, I’m soo fat!” and wondered, are we fat, too?
But here’s the good news: if you’re a mother, an aunt, or anyone else who spends time with young girls, you have a chance to stop this behavior in them before it starts. By learning how to be body positive and practicing self-love instead of self-criticism, you can be the example to the next generation of women! If we raise these little girls (slender or plus-size) to accept themselves, we just might change the world for generations to come.
That is also true for shaming others. Let’s teach young people to be kind by avoiding commenting on someone’s figure- no matter what. It’s important to note that even saying “eat a burger” to a slender person can be harmful to their self-image. They may very well covet the curves other women have but are unable to gain muscle or weight.
The point is, we are all different, and we are all beautiful. And let’s be honest -- when women are happy and thriving together, the world is better for everyone.
Life’s Too Short: Love Your Figure
The final reason it’s important to figure out how to be body positive is simple: Life is just too short to worry every day. Worrying about looking like your favorite actress or fitting in a smaller bathing suit can take time away from enjoying the small moments. Parties, dates, and even job interviews can become more enjoyable once you have the necessary confidence in your figure.
Moreover, when you’re happy with yourself, you will find it easier to accept the genuine compliments of others, which can only boost your self-esteem further! So, make a list of all your favorite attributes, dress in whatever trendy clothing makes you feel beautiful, and try to ignore any outside negativity in favor of a plus-size positive body image.