Need a Body Positive Boost…?

Body positivity is not something that is ingrained into us from an early age, we do not arrive as fully-fledged EffYourBeautyStandards members and sometimes we have to remember not to run before we can walk. The journey to body love is long and tumultuous, it seems ridiculous sometimes that even though we are given this body, due to societal pressure and ideals, we have to fight to forge some kind of relationship with it – and sadly, this isn’t always a positive one. So many people detest the way they look and fall into a vicious cycle of self-deprecation, self-loathing, and dangerous eating/exercising habits, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Body positivity is subjective, the feelings I have towards my body will not be the same feelings that you have towards yours – it is a highly personal road to be on and only you can decide what your ultimate destination is, although sometimes we don’t have a goal in mind. If you are feeling low about the way you look, you cannot indefinitely say that you’ll be okay wandering around in public sporting a bikini some day, similarly, if you publicly exhibit self-love, you can’t indefinitely state that you’ll always love your body. We are all human, and we all have days where we don’t like what we see – but that’s not a bad thing, as long as you manage to pull yourself out of the body-loathing funk you slip in to.

Here are some body positive boosters that I hope will help… I can’t tell you how to find body positivity, but I sure can help to guide you in the right direction: the rest is up to you.

Look at yourself.

Throughout my body positive journey, one of the biggest hurdles that I’ve had to overcome is being able to look at myself in the mirror without cringing. I’d always find something to pick fault with: my top didn’t suit me, my trousers were showing off my muffin top, my arms were too exposed, my legs too chunky, my hair too frizzy. But over time, I realised that I was only repeating what the bullies had told me time and time again, and what society had conditioned me to believe. So how 7d680f5d63d5d605b6243ea42a9a219ddid I move past this? I made myself look at my body, not to criticise – but to appreciate. Standing in front of a mirror clothed or, in time, naked, and looking at yourself – seeing yourself through your eyes without any societal preconceptions, is one of the most invigorating things that you can do for your self-esteem. You’ll notice things that you never even glanced at before: you’ll notice the curve of your waist, the smoothness of your skin, the thickness of your thighs, the shape of your face. But do not criticise, just notice, observe and most importantly, smile.

Bopo Booster Challenge

Go to a mirror, right now. When you’re there, if you feel comfortable then take your clothes off – if not, then stay clothed, that’s fine too. Smile at yourself, spend a good ten to fifteen minutes observing your body, make yourself stay there and acknowledge things that you hadn’t noticed before.

Accept compliments, especially from yourself.

How many of us dismiss compliments as non-statements? God knows I used to. Someone would call me beautiful and I’d tell them that they were lying; someone would tell me that they loved my body, I’d scoff and disbelieve them instantly; I never took compliments from myself, saying that I looked good was an alien concept to me and I couldn’t say it without stumbling half-heartedly over the words. Receiving and accepting compliments is not comparable to being big headed or vain – people don’t hand out compliments willy-nilly, so learn to thank 6837aa4eb5b525c628ebfb57567b9cc9them for their kindness and, more importantly, try to believe what they are saying. Society tells us that people outside of the norm aren’t attractive every day, but every day there are thousands of people, of all shapes and sizes, in love, in relationships and (shock) having sex! Learn to trust in someone’s words when they say that they think you’re beautiful or pay you any other kind of compliment. Not only this, but never be afraid of paying yourself a compliment, if you catch sight of yourself and think you look damn fine, tell yourself that you look like a goddess!

Bopo Booster Challenge

The next time that you’re getting ready and look in the mirror to see how you look, do not fiddle with your clothes or your hair – just stand there. Soak up the way you look and give yourself five compliments. You might not believe them at first, but if you do this every time that you’re getting ready, or even if you fancy a bit of self-love, I can guarantee that you’ll learn to accept and believe the positive things that you’re telling yourself, rather than focusing on the negative things.

Treat yourself.

At the beginning of my body positive journey, I believed that treating myself was a little self-indulgent. Whether that treat came in the form of new clothes, a glass of wine, a doughnut, a bubble bath or a whole pizza to myself – I wouldn’t do tumblr_mxep41JiR01sa1gyxo1_500it, I didn’t think that I deserved it. So many of us don’t allow our bodies and our minds a little bit of TLC, but it is so important that we look after ourselves. We are no stranger to hectic working days and jam-packed social lives, but when we are plagued with a full calendar, when do we find time to treat ourselves? Bodies and minds get tired, and when you’re exhausted, negativity finds a way to slip in to your mind-set. I’ve found that making time to rejuvenate myself, has had a hugely positive impact on my mentality and if you can find the space in your day to give yourself a big, wholesome, mental hug, you’ll feel so much better too.

Bopo Booster Challenge

Make time for you. It doesn’t have to be long, an hour? Two hours? The length of time is up to you. But turn off your phone and find some peace with your mind, allow yourself to switch off and indulge in the things that make you feel better: a bath, a takeaway, a pamper session, read that book you’ve been meaning to pick up, do some yoga – whatever you think will serve your mind and improve your positivity in the long run.

Explore your body.

When you don’t like the way you look, it is incredibly difficult to look at your body, let alone touch it. I know, I’ve been there. But forging a positive relationship with your body means connecting with yourself, or reconnecting (after all, no-one was b91073f982279c41bf5697ec471f1c54born into self-loathing). Touch is personal, touch is intimate, it is the thing that we use to show affection, it is the thing that we use to connect with our lovers, so why don’t you touch yourself? Nothing sexual, although if that’s the route you’d prefer to go down if it helps you, then go ahead! Just, feel your body. We learn, as babies, through touch, so why not re-learn ‘you’ in this way? Finding that you can touch your body and not be squeamish about your lumps and bumps is a fundamental step in learning to love yourself – not only this, but knowing where you are comfortable being touched aids intimacy with a partner. There’s nothing to be ashamed of where feeling your self is concerned, you might learn to feel more like yourself as a result.

Bopo Booster Challenge

It’s as simple as this: run a bubble bath, light some candles and spend some time with yourself to learn your body.

Reach out.

There is no shame in asking for help. There is no shame in reaching out. There is no shame in asking for some advice. There is no shame in asking questions. There is no need to struggle on your own. So many of us have been told that we shouldn’t talk about our bodies in a public sphere and, if we ask for help we are accused of fishing for compliments, we need to learn that this is not the case. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt, it is that there is a whole community of people at varying stages of body positivity, ready and waiting to help. Since becoming a part of this rapidly thriving community, I’ve managed to connect with so many sensational women and men who are more supportive than I could have asked for. They are c78d4ffa19d4a07c3e106b865c00b536there to pick you up when you need help, to offer advice when you’re flailing, to put you on a pedestal when you have a breakthrough and to support you in anything you endeavour to do. There is no shame in reaching out to those that you admire, those who are asking for help, and those who are on their journey – as you are. We are all learning and the road to self-love and body positivity is never-ending, but there are people out there who understand, in spite of what you’ve been told.

Bopo Booster Challenge

Spend some time on Instagram, on Twitter and Facebook researching body positive activists and make an effort to connect with them.

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