Let's Talk Body Positivity

There are a lot of things wrong with 2016, but if there is one thing I’m really glad I’ve gotten the chance to witness is how body positive we’ve become. This year more than ever the influx of “plus sized” models, un-retouched ads and just straight-up support people have shown towards each other is simply inspiring.  Granted, there is a LOT of work still left to do, but seeing how different it is now than how it was six or seven years ago, brings me so much joy.

With that being said, I don’t like this concept people have that you can just feel better about yourself in the blink of an eye. You can’t just get rid of years of insecurities in a day and feel good about who you are; it takes time. Confidence takes time, as much as we would like to never really lose the love we have for who we are, we do and learning how to love yourself again takes time.

Media has conditioned us to certain beauty standards that a big percentage of the population does not meet. We’ve grown up seeing people look and act a certain way, and when you don’t meet those traits, it takes a toll on you. You are either too skinny, too fat, too tall, too short, hairy, not hairy enough, too light, too dark, etc. but you are never good enough.

Growing up I never really cared how people saw me or what they thought of me, as long as I liked who I was, I simply didn’t care. However, that changed around middle school and even more in high school. You start –for some stupid reason- really caring about the image people have of you and how they perceive you as a person, to a point where you start losing sight of who you truly are. 

Demi Lovato has a song called Believe in Me and in the song, she talks about wanting but not being able to believe and love herself. Talking about how you can fool yourself by putting up an act, and I related to that in so many levels. I understood how she felt, but at the end of the song she sings

 “Not gonna be afraid I'm going to wake up feeling beautiful today and know that I'm okay ‘cause everyone's perfect in unusual ways. You see, now, now I believe in me.”

and to that, I just couldn’t relate.

For seven years I was able to empathize with every fiber of my being to that entire song, but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to say to myself “ you know what, I do believe in me”.

Any type of change TAKES.TIME.

Your experiences mold you into a different person, so I really can’t bring myself to believe that you can just look yourself in the mirror and convince yourself overnight that you are content with what you disliked, just like that. Nonetheless, you are able to do so over time, you HAVE to look at yourself in that mirror every day and find one little thing about yourself that you like and tell yourself “hey, your eyebrows are pretty kick-ass” and start from there. It’s really easy to nitpick what is wrong with you, and it’s really freaking hard to turn those “negatives” into positives, but it is possible.


Sometimes you just have to have a little chat with yourself and question why you don’t like something or why you do certain things and if you think a semi-drastic change will guide you to becoming a happier, more positive person then do it. I think the other thing that messes with you is that -let’s say you think you should lose weight – you are shamed by not loving yourself enough and wanting to change something that makes you unhappy. You have to try, lose the weight in a healthy way and if it does boost your confidence, good for you; but if it doesn’t work then look at it from another angle, what else can you do to feel better.

For me, a big part of the problem was and still is the lack of representation in the media. What has helped me a lot recently is how present “plus sized” models are and how much buzz they’re getting because it makes you feel like maybe you’re not so misplaced, you actually belong somewhere. I can’t really speak for anyone other than myself, but I believe it’s the same way with people that have mental illnesses. The fact that so many people are speaking up and talking about their experiences and how they deal every day with it, helps someone that has been told that it’s all in their heads. We like being acknowledged and feeling like we are part of something like we matter.

Sometimes the silliest thing can help up boost our confidence and make us feel better. For goodness sake, I have a pinboard filled with cheesy empowering quotes. I also have songs that make me feel empowered, I can play any Little Mix song and I feel like I can conquer the world. As silly and childish as those might seem, they’ve helped me over time to feel good about me.

To each their own. Find strength in what you can love yourself as much as you possibly can and give yourself time. You will always have your off days, I don’t think anyone can be 100% confident if someone says they are, they're definitely lying. We’re humans and we are not a conforming species, so days, where you don’t like yourself very much, will happen, but I believe you can minimize those.

Am I ever going to stop being a cheesy mess?

We are who we are,

               - Michelle

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