Where does it originate from, and how can we achieve it? Society's fickleness towards physical appearance can make self-acceptance difficult, but the body positivity movement is on pace to change this.
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, society has been obsessed with achieving “the ideal figure.” This is a relatively new occurrence, despite the fact that the 20th century often portrayed slender, non-curvaceous bodies as the epitome of beauty. The Ancient Greeks were fascinated with how to emphasize and celebrate the “perfect figure” within their own culture. More than 25,000 years ago, the “Venus Figurine” sculptures show this concept. These images emphasize “pear-shaped” forms with lots of curves and huge breasts, which represented the ideal of beauty at the time. This image was deeply ingrained in society until the 20th century when there was a dramatic move toward a lean and athletic physique. We don't know why this change happened so quickly, but it has been the foundation of what we think of as “beautiful” ever since.
Although the media mostly focused on the growing obesity crisis in the 1990s, slim-appearing women continued to occupy the pages of prominent fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Mare Claire, and Vanity Fair. This contradictory messaging had a devastating effect on society, prompting people to question their appearance and emotions. In contrast, a new fad known as “body positivity” has emerged during the past decade. Let's take a closer look at what this looks like in today's environment and how we can do it!
In the past decade, numerous media outlets have adopted the term “body positivity” as a buzzword to promote self-love in our communities. However, the term has a much deeper meaning that relates to whole-body acceptance and social justice. In actuality, the movement was founded in the 1960s by the “fat acceptance” movement to honor those with “marginalized bodies”—mostly people of color and the transgender community. In contrast, between 2008 and 2010, body positivity took on a whole new connotation. The new belief was primarily formed by older black women who blogged about it on social media sites. It provided an opportunity for them and other women of color to discuss the discrimination in their communities. On these platforms, women examined the causes of bias and the reasons why women of color were not seen as equals. Then, around 2012, social media influencers of plus-size began to talk publicly about their love and acceptance of their bodies. This enabled them to establish highly successful platforms with similar followers. Nevertheless, plus-size influencers were not the only individuals advocating body positivity to their eager following. Thinner and more diminutive influencers began to use the hashtag #bodypositivity. This had a big effect on how people felt about their bodies, but it also started to shift the focus of body positivity away from marginalized groups and toward self-love in general.
It didn't take long before marketers incorporated “plus-size models” into their marketing efforts. During this time period, the emphasis shifted away from exceedingly slim models and toward ladies with a “healthy appearance.” However, these women wore no larger than a size 12 and were largely white. Although all forms, sizes, and colors of bodies should be supported, these advertisements primarily targeted a select group of women and gave women who did not fall into that category the impression that they were not nice, attractive, or marketable to society. We've come a long way since 2012, with more individuals concentrating on ‘body neutrality'—what your body can accomplish for you rather than body positivity—how you regard it. Want to discover how you might incorporate body positivity or body neutrality into your own life? Here are some quite effective strategies!
It is essential to keep in mind that our thoughts determine our reality. Because of this, positive affirmations may have such a tremendous effect on how we perceive ourselves. There is a profusion of excellent websites offering a variety of self-affirmations.
Develop a “healthier” rather than a “thinner” mentality.
Many of us have believed that the gym is a place to burn off excess fat or tone up portions of our bodies that we believe need a little more effort. These are admirable objectives, but we rarely regard exercise as a reminder of the incredible things our bodies are capable of. If you can learn to view exercise as a means to improve your health while adhering to a whole-food, well-balanced diet, you will be successful.
When you believe someone to be deserving of praise, offer it.
According to scientific studies, when we give sincere praise to others, we experience an improvement in our own self-esteem. You never know what someone is going through, so sharing good words with them may help them remember what a great person they are.
Ensure that your world is full of good things.
Comparing oneself to others has, sadly, become the norm in modern society. Observing a fad diet on social media or a billboard portraying a thin, high-fashion model might cause us to question our own value. It has also been demonstrated that individuals who spend more time on social media are more prone to developing eating problems and having a more negative body image. So, if you have trouble with this, you should surround yourself with things and people that help you love yourself and have a good image of your body.
Don't compare yourself to others.
Imagine how uninteresting the world would be if there was only one way to be lovely. While one person may have wonderful thick curls and chocolate-brown eyes, another may have silky red hair and a porcelain-like complexion. Part of the enjoyment of life is recognizing the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis, regardless of a person's skin tone, hair color, or body type. It is appropriate that we are each unique and attractive in our own way.
Consider positive messages about body image.
In a world dominated by the media, it is easy for messages that can have a detrimental impact on how we perceive our bodies to enter our consciousness. There is, however, an equal amount of positive messaging on which we can focus.
Therefore, here are some wonderful body positivity bloggers and influencers who will remind you of how incredible your body is.
There is still much work to be done about how society perceives diverse body types, but owing to social media and influential figures, many more individuals are learning to accept their bodies and appreciate all that they can do for them. There are a plethora of tools that can help you progress on your “body positive” path. So, keep in mind that opting to work on how you regard your body is one of the most daring and empowered decisions you can make. Keep going! You'll manage!