Let’s get right into it. I’m sick of it, aren’t you? The body shaming, the obsession with perfection, the sick and destructive behaviour that makes us body hate. We need to give our bodies (and our brains) a break.
The body hate that we inflict on ourselves and others is silly, it’s tired, and frankly, we have better things to do with our time. It’s time to change our toxic habits once and for all, and as I approach my thirties, here are some real ass realizations (pun intended) I’ve made that may help anyone else that’s struggling with being body positive.
Perfection is complete bullshit
There are literally no perfect things in this world – if you asked me to modify any of my favourite things I could undoubtedly think of a way to make them even better. Jason Momoa, rosé and filet mignon included.
We all want to be unique when it comes to our personalities, but why do so many people think that looking different is such a bad thing? If we all looked the same, how fun would that really be? Spoiler alert, it would be awful, and it’s a completely ridiculous concept. Variety is the spice of life, and just like my gelato flavours, I think that people are best when they’re nutty, colourful and unique.
So many beautiful aspects of life and culture are the result of variety and innovation, so let’s keep ourselves as far away from the Kylie-Jenner-fembot assembly line as possible. We don’t need any more of her. Individuality is so sexy; don’t ever forget it.
Change is coming, so stop fighting it
A lesson I learned once I hit my mid-twenties was that nobody and no body is safe from major body changes. One day you might wake up and realize that your thighs have rubbed their way through every pair of jeans you own; surprise! Some of us have consistent body shapes that don’t fluctuate much, but a lot of us go through ups and downs in terms of body shape.
So why is this something that we carry so much shame around when literally all of us go through it? Maybe it’s the freshman 15, the post-baby struggle pooch, the middle-aged spread, the beer belly, the unexplainable hair loss, the saggy skin chagrin or the arrival of the beloved adult acne. There are so many ways that our bodies can completely flip the script on us at any given time.
We’re not going to keep our 18-year-old abs forever, so let’s just let that little fantasy die once and for all. It may vary person by person, but some part of your body is gonna change. Embrace it and learn how to work with your new additions or subtractions.
Uniqueness is a strength, not a weakness
What we need to do is focus on looking like our favourite version of ourselves, and not like someone else. If that’s a healthier version, a thinner version, a more muscular version, that’s one thing, but striving to look like someone else is completely illogical. We are who we are, and if we keep that in mind first, our expectations should fall in line.
We have our hips, not Beyoncé’s, and the sooner we realize that transfiguration is just a Hogwarts-broken-promise from our childhood, the sooner we can focus on realistic, individualized body positive goals.
We already have the tools we need to change
Do you know that feeling when you’re in a relationship and you’re so smitten that even the weirdest things about your partner become lovable? When you find yourself in love with their quirks and their flaws? Maybe it’s a weird scar or their boney knees, their pudgy stomach or their elfish shaped ears, but we come to love them as they are? If we can do that for our partner, why can’t we do it for ourselves?
And the same goes for this unconditional love our parents somehow magically develop when their child is born. Yes, you created a human being, but you know who else you’ve been creating your whole life? Your own amazing self, that’s who! Have some appreciation and love for the amazing person you are becoming and have made yourself into thus far.
The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around - Thomas A. Edison
There are more important things in life to worry about
The world is going through a lot. The news is a constant wave of crazy, the environment is going through it, and being a millennial is a struggle in itself. Life is a rollercoaster and frankly we don’t need the distraction of superficial BS when apparently we should have been saving for a mortgage down payment since puberty.
Did you eat today? Whether it was a kale salad or a bowl of mac and cheese and a pack of Oreos, you’re not going hungry and that’s great. Are you stressing about wearing that two-piece bathing suit at the beach on your vacation? You’re on vacation, at the beach, and that’s pretty great too.
We have choices
We may not be able to pick and choose our body parts but many of us do enjoy other freedoms of expression that many people around the world don’t. We can (for the most part) dress the way we please, we can do what we want with our hair, wear makeup and get tattoos. We can contour or grow a beard, and crafting our own look is half the fun of going outside.
We all start with a canvas, and what we do with it is up to us. Our untouched bodies are not a punishment, they’re a starting point for whatever we wanna be that day. Have fun with it and work with whatever you’ve got. And if you’re not creative, guaranteed there’s a Youtube or Pinterest tutorial that’ll help you along.
Every body is fab
I’m able bodied, I live in a country that encourages my physical self-expression and I have self-governance over my body, and in a hectic 2017, those things are pretty friggin great. Someone out there loves my body, and the most important thing is that I can look in the mirror at that person every day.
This body helps me travel the world, dance to my favourite hip hop songs and carries my amazing brain around, so in my opinion, it’s doing all the right things. You go, bod.