Almost everyone feels a bit insecure about his or her looks sometimes. Makes sense, since it is hard to meet the standard of the ideal (body)image that the media, but also many people on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are showing us. However, lately Instagrammers and YouTubers that identify themselves as body-positive influencers, who spread the message that everybody deserves acceptance, are getting more and more popular. But what is body positivity and what can we learn from it?
Feeling insecure is of course not a new phenomenon but body positivism is also not a new trend. In 1967 American writer Lew Louderback published an essay called “More People Should Be Fat”. Two years later, The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance was established, a movement that stood for more acceptance for fat bodies. This is important because weight is not the most important indicator of health. Other factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and mental health, are perhaps much more important. Everybody is different which means that a healthy body and a healthy weight can look drastically different for anyone. Furthermore, it has been proven that dieting does not work: 95 to 98 percent of people who goes on a diet eventually get their old weight back (and often with some extra pounds as well).
Acceptance, for everyone …
But that is not the point according to the Body Positivity movement. The most important message is that everyone deserves respect. The prejudices for example about being fat are persistent in Dutch society, even though almost half of adult Dutch people are overweight. According to behavioural scientist Loek Hermans from the Radboud University, ‘fat shaming’, talking negative about one’s overweight, is the only accepted form of discrimination in this time. This is of course quite weird. Fat people can even cause psychological problems because of this.
… also for yourself!
Not only is it important to accept others for what they look like, it can also make your life a lot more fun and easier if you accept your own looks. But how do you do that? Start by simply accepting and respecting your body. You do not necessarily have to find everything beautiful about yourself, but acceptance and respect can already help a lot! And just look at it like this: there are far more important things in life than your looks.
Are there perhaps things that you aren’t doing because your looks stop you? Then try to challenge yourself in the NiceDay app to do these things. Go outside without make-up once for example, or wear that bikini, and register how you felt about it.