Proud2Bme | The New Year's Body Revolution

The New Year's Body Revolution

By Rae Smith--It is that time of year again when  people  establish  a  new  year’s resolution in hopes to have a prosperous and well lived upcoming year. As I sit here thinking about what my new year’s resolution needs to be, I realized  that  I do not need another empty new year’s resolution. What I need  is  a  new  year’s  revolution.

I need something that is going to be personal and something that is going to challenge the negative thoughts that all too often over shadow the truth.  These past two months I have struggled with a bit of bad body image and I have decided that my new year’s resolution needs to be a body image revolution! I hope that you will  join  me and that you will let the words on this page trump the lies and  negativity  that  you  believe  about  yourself.  The  Love  Yourself Challenge  Body  Image  Revolution will strive to  challenge  the negativity  and  lies that  people  often  believe  with  five  body  image truths.  I  believe  that  when  we  challenge  the  lies and negativity and establish  a  healthy  body  image, the only thing left to do is to embrace, love, respect, accept and celebrate ourselves and each other.    

 

1.    There is nothing wrong with your body, but there is a lot wrong with the messages that try to convince you otherwise:

We live in a culture where our bodies are a target market for advertisements and products. I learned in my Women Studies class last semester that advertisers strive to create insecurities in people, so that we will be lifetime consumers and continue to buy into their products in a desperate attempt to fix the problem. Overall, bad body image is what advertisers and the media strive to maintain because if they can keep us upset with our bodies we will be consumers for life. For example, the majority of women in magazines have been cropped, stretched and airbrushed by photoshop leaving real women chasing after an ideal that does not even exist. Advertisers promote products that promise to bring us steps closer to achieving this ideal but often leaves us disappointed reaching for another product hoping it will fix us.

The media wants YOU and ME to feel insecure so that they can make more money. Our bodies are their target market because if they can create more insecurity then they can make more products and make more money. This may be the first time you read or hear this but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the shape of your body, the color of your hair, the pigment of your skin, the color of your eyes, the size of your breasts or the width of your hips. You are you and there is nothing wrong with that. You have nothing to be ashamed about and there is nothing wrong with your body. This year you can turn this all around and change the course of the relationship, the acceptance and the love that you have towards your body by embracing who you are and rejecting the negative messages of the media. I challenge you to reject the messages of the media, be a critical viewer of the media, and challenge yourself to believe that there is nothing wrong with your body but there is everything wrong with the messages that try to convince you otherwise.

 

2.    Everything negative you have ever believed about yourself is a lie:

Negativity is a thick fog that clouds our vision and causes us to believe things that are untrue. I believe that negativity is unnatural and it was not an ingredient that was used in my creation and it wasn’t used in yours either. You are not bound by the chains of negativity or restricted by the narrow standards of this world, and neither am I. We have been deceived and brainwashed by negative messages so that we will be consumers of products that will continue to leave us empty and searching for the solution. There is no hope if we continue to allow negativity and lies dictate our happiness and contentment with ourselves and our bodies. There are thousands of lies and negative things that people believe about themselves and most times the negative outweighs the positive. This is not our destiny and it is time to rise up and challenge the negativity and lies because the truth is that each of us is wonderful, amazing, beautiful, unique and each of us has amazing potential to do and be whatever we want to be. It is time to undo the lies and negativity we have believed by challenge the lies and negativity with what is true and positive.

Try this: Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought about yourself think of a loved one or your best friend. If you would not say the negative thought to your best friend then do not say it to yourself!

 

3.    Let your beauty shine from the inside out!

You cannot heal the pain you feel on the inside by trying to change your outward appearance. If you want to free yourself from the vicious cycle of self-hate you have to transform yourself from the inside out. If trying to change yourself has not yet brought you happiness and contentment, it never will. Challenge yourself to stop looking for your beauty and worth in the distortion of the bathroom mirror and strive to figure out who you are, what you value, what makes you laugh, what makes you happy and what your dreams and aspirations are. You are more than just a body and inside of you there leys a wonderful personality, a beautiful soul and amazing qualities that make you who you are. Happiness and freedom to be who you are comes when you put effort into finding yourself and loving yourself from the inside out.

When you look in the mirror in the morning, look into your eyes and ask yourself the questions in the above paragraph and rediscover who you are away from your appearance.

 

4. Use your voice:

You have a voice and that is a very powerful thing. It is easy to become discouraged by the negative messages we are fed and often our voices are silenced. We have to rediscover our voices, speak out, be loud and refuse to be silent. Use your voice and speak up about your passions and what you love. Speak out against the negative thoughts in your head and challenge those thoughts with truth, love and positivity. Exercise your right to be heard in your own life and in the greater world. Do not let negativity and lies take precious time away from you and deprive you of the joy and happiness you deserve. Interrupt, dismantle and reject the negativity before it even has a chance to consume you. In every moment speak truth, love and hope into your life and stand up against the negative forces that strive to rob you of your ability to do amazing things with your life. YOU have the power and strength to stand up and raise your voice and reclaim your life. Your voice matters and what you have to say matters in your personal life and in the world around you!

 

5.    Stop comparing, start embracing:

Have you ever looked up at the stars in the sky, picked out one and thought “wow that one is so ugly, stupid, fat, dumb and unworthy to shine because it shines differently then the others!” I have my doubts that this has ever crossed your mind because stars evoke a sense of wonder and add a beautiful touch to the night’s sky. Each star is unique and does not shine in the same way, no star is better, prettier or worthier then the other because each is their own and shines in a unique way. The same can be said about people! Unfortunately, many people compare and contrast people and things against each other so they can see who is better and which has greater value then the other. This is an unhealthy, counterproductive and dehumanizing practice which often leaves many feeling worthless and devalued. We have to stop comparing and start embracing the similarities, differences and uniqueness that we all behold.

This change starts when we start embracing ourselves for who we are and when we also start embracing others for who they are. You will find that when you can accept, respect and love yourself for who you are, where you are, you will also be able to pass this gift along to the people in and around your life. When you stop comparing you will be able to get to know yourself for who you are without feeling you need to change yourself because so and so has something that you don’t, and you will realize that the way you are and who you are is what you need to be. Contentment and happiness will shine brightest when you can embrace, enjoy and celebrate your wonderful self as you continually realize and accept that you are a distinct, unique and wonderful individual, and that the same goes for those around you!

 

 

This post is republished with permission from The Love Yourself Challenge.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.