Proud2Bme | Yes, We Still Need Body Positivity

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Yes, We Still Need Body Positivity

By Alison Znamierowski-There has been a lot of debate lately about whether the body-posi movement is making a positive impact or if it is still focusing too heavily on value judgments of the body.

The body-posi movement is, by itself, not enough. It is a piece of a bigger picture—one in which body aesthetics would ideally not matter at all. But we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in a world in which aesthetic is equated with value and one body type is valued above all others.

We are bombarded with the message that our bodies—our homes—are not an acceptable way to be. That is why the body-posi movement is an important step to a more holistic form of body-love: it creates a space and a conversation that counteracts society’s harmful notion that there is only one way to be beautiful. In this way, the body-posi movement goes beyond simply telling us that we are beautiful—it assures us: We are worthy. Our bodies are amazing exactly as they exist.

With that being said, body-love should not revolve solely around size, weight or shape. Body-love is also about showing your body love, as Lily Myers and Kate Weiner discuss in this amazing holistic body love podcast. It is about giving our bodies what they need to thrive—whether that’s a nap, a walk, a bowl of homemade soup, a breath of fresh air or a bath. It’s about listening to what we need moment to moment and honoring that.

Body-love is also recognizing and having gratitude for everything our bodies can do and experience. Our bodies connect us to this world! When I am having anxious thoughts about my body, I try to remind myself:

I can swim and feel what it is to float, suspended, as the ocean holds me.

I can dance outside and feel my bare feet in the dirt beside my best friends.

I can eat cherries and taste the cherry juice saturating my tongue.

I can hear the familiar sound of my mom’s voice: I love you.

I can walk through the snow and feel it melting through my hair and into my scalp.

I can smell a wall of lilacs infusing the air on summer walks.

I can feel my fingertips skating across the palms of someone I love.

When I think of all of the experiences my body allows me to have, it eclipses the discomfort I have with the pinchable parts of me.

In addition to being absorbers of experiences, our bodies are also active agents for self-expression! With these bodies, we can translate our inner worlds into tangible expressions, whether it’s in the form of spontaneously dancing, performing a slam poem, going on a last-minute adventure, talking to friends about your passions or harvesting food from your garden—there are endless ways in which our bodies enable us to express ourselves. As Chuck Palahniuk said, “Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It’s all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary.”

Our bodies are beautiful, and for reasons that extend beyond aesthetics. Our bodies—we—are beautiful in all the ways we experience the world, connect with other beings and express ourselves. Also beautiful are all the ways we can take care of, nourish, love and celebrate our bodies. The body-posi movement is taking a critical step in an important direction, but it is time that we begin to holistically celebrate our bodies.

About the blogger: Alison Znamierowski graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in sociology. She is interested in the intersection of sociological and psychological studies, especially within the context of healing and self-expression. She is currently a writer for Loam MagazineHelloFlo, and I AM THAT GIRL and an art therapy intern at Many Moons Psychotherapy.

Also by Alison:

The Spaces Between

Language is Power: On Banning Body Talk

5 Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Great


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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.

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