We live in an era in which the high standards of beauty that have been set are only attainable by privileged people. Anything that exists outside of those standards is not considered beautiful in the eyes of the world. There are many stories of girls who dreamed of being models only to receive a refusal under the pretext of being "too fat" or "too short'. Who has the right to say whether or not someone is beautiful? Nobody, only you! You have to learn to love yourself, and the body positivity movement is here to help.
Body positivity is a movement that advocate the fact that body types come in all shapes and sizes: fat, short, thin, with disabilities, with stretch marks, with spots, with freckles - every body is beautiful!
Although this movement was started to empower overweight women, it has evolved to encompass all women, all over the world. Body positivity deals with all the realities of the human body because what we see on television and social media, more often than not, is not a real reflection of human appearance.
It is true that a few privileged people in the world have 'perfect' genes, at least according to the standards of beauty that the world has invented. But, most of the women who we see are the result of surgery, photoshop, and misleading makeup. This is one reason why photographs of actresses without makeup or swimsuits on have gone viral across social media - they show the stars in a human light, flaws and all.
What the body positivity movement aims to do is normalize the human body. Show the world that the "norm" is not what we are taught, but how we are born, and that we should love ourselves above all else. One of the reasons that led to the inception of this movement was the appearance of plus-size models, a significant step forward in understanding and accepting that not all of us are a size 34 (US size 4) as the big clothing companies want us to believe.
All of us, whether men or women, have felt inferior to others at some point in our lives, or we might even still feel that. Sometimes more intensely, and sometimes less so. The image of beauty that we have had imposed on us has greatly fostered this feeling and affected our self-esteem.
Tall, thin women, with cellulite-free goddess bodies, without stretch marks, freckles or wrinkles - this is the only representation of women we see in media. And the worst thing is that this leads us to compare ourselves to what we see, and ultimately to feelings of not being "good enough."
What about the women who have a few extra kilos, those who do not have "perfect" legs or those whose pregnancies have left them with a large number of stretch marks? Not seeing ourselves perfect leads us to think that we are not beautiful.
Believing ourselves inferior, having low self-esteem and not loving ourselves as we genuinely deserve can cause problems such as chronic depression or permanent unhappiness. And when you're not happy with yourself, you can not make those around you happy. You enter a loop from which it seems impossible to exit. But it's not! You can do it!
Body positivity introduces four main objectives:
We must feel good about ourselves, with our extra kilos, our stretch marks, our cellulite or any other NATURAL 'defect' that we may have. We are enough just as we are.
Love and respect are two qualities that always go together. When we appreciate each other, we love each other, and when we love each other, we respect each other.
We must invest time in getting to know our body and take advantage of what makes us feel good. Feed the inner qualities that others praise and love us for, and eliminate anything we do not like about our personality. Because we have to keep improving as human beings, and when we do, we come to love each other, no matter what our bodies are like.
We should not be angry with ourselves for not reaching the beauty standards imposed by society. Each of us is unique, and we must be at peace with that, with us, and love ourselves. Loving oneself is the best way to be happy and make others happy.
This should be made clear, the body positivity movement does not support neglecting your health and in fact, eating correctly and doing a little exercise is ideal for raising self-esteem. But remember that doing all of this is intended to make you healthier, not more beautiful because you are already as beautiful as you can be. Never forget it!
We know that it's much easier said than done but fret not, the body positivity movement offers you some phrases that will help you achieve your goal: to feel good about yourself as you are because you are unique.
Ashley Graham is one of the most famous plus-size models in the world, and these are some of the inspirational phrases she shared:
There are no categories, there are no real women, only women. We are all different and we are all unique. Each of us has something that makes us beautiful, authentic. You do too! We should not spend our time and effort in wanting to change, but in convincing ourselves that we do not need to change anything, because we are perfect as we are.