Today, Beautiful Readers, is National Love Your Body Day!
If you’re guessing that I’m pretty excited, YOU’RE RIGHT! ♥
This campaign, organized by the National Organization for Women Foundation, is about disempowering societal beauty standards by celebrating everything that makes you, and your body, unique and beautiful!
“Every day, in so many ways, the beauty industry (and the media in general) tell women and girls that being admired, envied, and desired based on their looks is a primary function of true womanhood. The beauty template women are expected to follow is extremely narrow, unrealistic and frequently hazardous to their health.” -NOWF
The world today tries to tell us that we are what we look like – or even worse, we are what we eat. And the danger in that is that we have started to believe it. We have started to let our bodies be the determinate of our happiness, success, value, and potential in life. The measures one has to take to achieve these unrealistic standards destroys self-esteem, self-acceptance, and more often than not, happiness as well.
It’s up to us to change those standards and to challenge societal beliefs for ourselves, and even more importantly for our daughters and generations to come.
– 40-60% of elementary school girls are concerned with their weight or becoming “too fat.”*
– 46% of 9-11 year old girls are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets.*
– At the age of 13, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies”, this number jumps to 78% by the time girls reach age 17.*
Here’s the thing, until we all actively work to change those standards within ourselves, we are never going to see change in the culture around us. It starts with YOU, it starts with ME, it starts with US.
Every time you look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you aren’t enough because you are “too ____________”, you give those standards truth. Every time you buy into another diet, another lifestyle-fad, another cleanse, detox, or miracle supplement for weight-loss, you are feeding those norms. Every time you value yourself, your happiness, and your success by the way you look, you give your power away to society. And every time you make an assumption about another human being based on what they look like, you become part of the pressure.
The way I see it, you can either break yourself down to fit into the design that has been laid out for us, or you can build yourself up, stand apart, and celebrate your individuality. (If you ever knew me in teen years, you already know where I stand – my inner rebel-for-individuality is standing SO freakin’ tall right now!)
There is no better day than today to start making changes!
Here are 5 Ways You Can Help Create Change in Societal Beauty Standards:
1. Change the Conversation:
Have no tolerance for fat shaming or body bashing in yourself or from others. Take the initiative to change the conversation to a more positive perspective or a different topic all together.
2. Respect and Honor Wholeness:
The shape of your body, the color of your skin, or the size of your thighs has no bearing on your value, your strengths, or you importance in this world – and the same goes for every other individual on this planet. Always remember that within every body is a PERSON, who has life experiences, values, knowledge, and perceptions of this world. The physical body is only one portion of a WHOLE individual.
3. Stop Dieiting:
Diets don’t work. They leave you in a worse place than you started in regards to self-esteem, self-acceptance, body-connectedness, self-trust, and metabolism. They feed unhealthy behaviors, disordered eating, and shame… and in top of it all, they send the message that all of those things are okay.
4. Watch Your Words:
Pay attention to the words you use to describe or acknowledge yourself and others. Rather than complimenting someone on their great looking body, their hairstyle, or their clothes, try complimenting them on their genuine smile, their kindness, their patience, or their great sense of humor. Rather than telling your daughter, sister, niece that she looks beautiful, tell her that she acts beautiful, that she has a beautiful soul.
5. Change Starts With(in) You:
All of these changes will have little bearing if you are unable to also make them for yourself. Work to find your own self-acceptance and self-love and let it radiate into the world. Treat your body, mind, and soul with kindness and respect: use kind words and thoughts towards yourself, forgive yourself, practice body-kindness, do what brings you joy, seek fulfillment in everything you do, and celebrate everything you can.
Want to talk more about what holds you back from self-acceptance, and how you finally discover body positivity and self-love in your life? Get in touch HERE!
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Happy Love Your Body Day, Happy Celebrate You Day,
Today, and Everyday!