Want to know how to be body positive? Read on, dear lovely, lumpy, wobbly friends. Read on.
It feels like people are finally coming around to the idea that being a size 16 or above isn't a bad thing. Marie Claire have just announced their new columnist - the amazing Callie Thorpe (Congratulations Callie!) - which is a huge step forward for not only plus-size women, but also body positivity.
But body positivity (or Bo-Po for short) isn’t just for plus size girls. It’s the radical notion that we can love our bodies just as they are - whatever they look like - despite all the body snark we're faced with along the way.
It comes in many shapes and sizes, and we all have our own body positive journeys. For example, I’m a fat positive, Bo-Po blogger. That means I’m making the choice to not take part in diet culture that tells us that fat = unhealthy and unhappy, and I’m making the radical decision that my size 22 fat body is perfect just the way it is.
For myself and other fat positive people, our Bo-Po journey comes in the form of unapologetically loving the skin we’re in.
But that isn’t the only way to be body positive. For others, being body positive is finding their own way to feel great about themselves. Whether it’s smashing a Spin session, appreciating your curves in a tight dress, or wrapping them up in a baggy jumper - there are so many ways to feel good about your own frame.
One of the most important thing to remember is that all bodies - no matter the shape, weight, size, race or ability - are beautiful.
If you’re just starting your journey to being a Bo-Po Warrior, it can be a daunting task. I’ve got a few hints and tips on how to start your own Bo-Po Revolution:
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
It’s an old cliché, but for a reason - now more than ever. If you think your best friend looks hot in that dress, you'd tell her wouldn’t you? Now, are you feeling your look today? Then shout about it from the roof tops! Don’t be afraid to positively reinforce yourself. In showing the world how at ease you are with your fine self, you will inspire other women to do the same. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a sea of women supporting each other and raising themselves up to higher heights?
EVERYONE IS ON A JOURNEY
Behind every face is a story. You might think that someone is too skinny, but that person might have a fast metabolism and struggle to find jeans she feels confident in. How dare you make her feel worse about that. If you find a picture on the internet making fun out of someone’s weight, don’t share it. If you see someone calling someone 'anorexic', or 'obese', challenge that behaviour. You do not know the journey that person is on to loving themselves and what you think is hilarious - or thinly veiled judgement covered by concern - could be seriously detrimental to someone else's mental health. Some of the most confident women I’ve ever met have been a size 30, and others have been a size eight – confidence is not discriminatory, and you are not their doctor.
DON'T PUT DOWN YOUR OLD BODY
If you’ve made the choice to lose weight and you’re feeling fantastic, that’s amazing! Well done on finding your happy place with your body! But if you then turn around and say 'Oh god, wasn’t I so disgusting before I lost weight', then you’ve successfully snarked on everyone who's still that size. It’s important that we teach people that everyone has a different level of what feels good for their body and what could be good for one person may not be any good for someone else. You can lose weight, be positive about your new body and not put down the body you used to have: you were great at every angle.
REMEMBER IT'S OK TO HAVE BAD DAYS
Now, I’m the first person to shout body positivity from the rooftops. But what happens on the days that I look at myself and hate what I see? Do I stand in the mirror and give myself a pep talk or do I just crawl back to bed and wait for it to pass? It’s completely natural to not always like what you see in the mirror. What is important though, is that you don’t allow these moments of unsureness to take over your mind. It is a moment and it will pass. You are stunning just the way you are.
Follow Lottie's blog here, or give her Twitter a whirl @Lottielamour.
And you can read more about our #BREAKFREE campaign, here!