By Kristen Lok, Healthy Aggies Nutrition intern
In our current society it’s easy to believe that looks are everything. From advertisements to Instagram models it is difficult to escape the societal pressure of having the “perfect body” or the idea that “the thinner the better”. In light of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I’ve been reflecting on whether our appearances really hold such importance to me and have decided the answer is no. I personally have felt the pressure of these expectations, plaguing myself with thoughts like “Am I too skinny?”, “Am I too fat?” or “Am I enough?”. I think our worth is not dependent on looks, but rather our actions, words and hearts that speak so much about the true beauty within us. Furthermore, I believe our bodies are something that we, alone, have the power to change, not society. We should be proud of and comfortable in our bodies. But in all honesty at times, it’s still hard to love our bodies. So how do we learn to accept and love our bodies? Here are some strategies I find helpful to stay body positive:
- Focus on what you love about yourself
It’s easy to look in the mirror and see the things we think we don’t like about our physical appearance. The more we linger on these thoughts the more uncomfortable and negative we are towards our bodies. Instead, focus on the things you love about yourself both inside and out. This positive thinking can lead to a path of acceptance and comfort in our bodies.
- Be wary of the messages on social media and advertisements
Not everything we see from the media is what it seems to be. Many advertisements and magazines alter their photos. This gives us unrealistic expectations of what our bodies should and can be. Setting these expectations for ourselves will only leave us disappointed and feeling like a failure. So try filtering out companies or media accounts that body shame. Focusing and supporting body inclusive brands will spread more positivity.
- Try to stop comparing yourself to others
We all have unique body shapes and sizes. Diversity is what makes us different and special. So embrace everything that makes up your body, because it is what makes you, “you”.
I hope this week, you are able to reflect not only on how to stay body positive but also how to spread body positivity. Everyone struggles with loving their bodies. Therefore, being able to create a safe and accepting community will encourage us to feel confident and comfortable in our own skin. Look for the best in people because it not only inspires others to love their body but helps you too!