My series Beyond Body Positive is for every woman who thinks, “I hate my body and don’t know how not to.”
The Body Positivity Movement has done a lot to explain why we hate our bodies as women, but it didn’t help me stop hating my body. In this video series and my upcoming book, I’m going to teach you the HOW.
- You don’t have to translate every part of your body into someone else’s definition of beauty, even if that’s a body positive definition of beauty.
- In our culture we have this idea that it doesn’t matter what a woman does, if she falls short of the beauty standard she falls short as a woman.
- “Beauty culture” traps us in a room of funhouse mirrors and body positivity doesn’t really help us get out of that room.
What has your experience with body positivity been? How do you struggle to love your body?
Thanks, Lauren. I’m excited to see where this video series goes!
My experience with the body positivity messaging is I feel like it’s an excuse to love myself when I may be actually doing unhealthy things to my body. I struggle with really believing at my core that my value is not related to my appearance, (I’ve had lots of conditioning- I’m 60 years old), although I believe it intellectually. To be completely honest, I look at photos people post saying I love my stretch marks/fat/ fill in the blank, and I think they are just posting it to go along with the trend, and that they really don’t believe it.
I want to think I try to eat healthy to actually be in good health instead of lose weight, but I have to admit the weight thing drives most of my eating, which still ends up being me judging all food as “good” or “bad.”
Glad you are tackling this aspect!
Hi Lori! Thanks for sharing your experience with body positivity — I definitely understand how it can be perceived as an excuse to treat our bodies poorly when we accept them as they are now. I was just working on a future video on this question, so I appreciate hearing that it has come up for you. I’ll also be discussing “internalized fat phobia” which is when we intellectually know our self worth isn’t connected to our weight, but we’ve been so brainwashed that we emotionally believe it’s true.
Hello Lauren! I want to congratulate you on your move, and tell you that in this video, I feel like I am seeing the “real” you for the first time. Your smile is so open and genuine, and you seem so comfortable with yourself and your environment. I am seeing a natural confidence, and I can just see so much more of who you are in this video. You are so much more relaxed! I’m so happy for you! And as always, thank you for what you do!
Hi Veronica! Thank you so much for the congratulations, and I really appreciate your feedback on this video. Previously, I did all my videos with a videographer, so I felt really vulnerable sitting down in front of my laptop without the whole set-up! It definitely allowed me to be more real… plus, I’m in a much better place my life than before.
Glad your move empowered you to continue your journey forward.
As far as body topic, I can say I have always hated my body until recently.
I tried to accept my body & that I would always be fat, I found myself in a health crisis on my way out. After going through some life coaching & defining my life purposes, I chose not to own my diseased body & set out to be healthy & reversed all my health issues by changing my relationship with food & loving myself from the inside out to take back my health which freed me up to pursue all my life purposes & re-evaluate my body as a reflection of my self love of healthy. As long as I own that, I don’t care about the rest. I can now love who I am & how my body expresses my health.
Thanks for the supportive words about my recent move, Jacquie! And I appreciate hearing your experience with accepting your body — I so agree, self-love is an action, and we love our bodies when we act in loving ways towards them.
I’m so happy for you with your move and experience of coming into your own life. I’m taking slow steps that I hope will help me do the same.
I love this series concept. I have found that I do much better when I focus more on what my body does and needs than how it looks. I’m trying to find the foods that give me energy, the movements that make me feel strong, and them time outside that improves my mood. I rarely look in the mirror and have decided to stick with a small capsule wardrobe of my favorite clothes so that I don’t have to spend a lot of time on my appearance. This has been a slow process over the last 3-4 years.
I look forward to the rest of your posts.
Hi Liz! Thank you for your kind words and support, and I wish you all the best as you make intuitive choices in your own life. I appreciate hearing the steps that are helping you connect with your body, especially the connection between a capsule wardrobe which allows you to spend less energy on your appearance.
Some interesting food for thought here, Lauren. I think the problem is more with “appearance culture” even more than “beauty culture”. The more that we can move to an understanding of the real value of a person rather than their appearance, we can grow as individuals and as a community-society. On a personal level, I have a hard time loving my body where it is right now when I am dealing with its limitations. It’s not an appearance thing, but it does hinder my health path as I make healthy choices in a state of pain. In moments of stress it has been easy to “give in to” unhealthy eating choices rather than choose the more loving choice of saying no. I find that when I can love my hurting, aching body I treat it better than when I hate it and press on through pain to do more.
Kudos to you for tackling this complex and deeply important topic!
My experience with body positivity has been one of mixed messages. From an intellectual perspective, I appreciate what the movement is trying to do, but also feel like there should be a balance. We have a lot of very unhealthy habits in our culture that do need to be addressed, not for the sake of aesthetics, but for the sake of health and longevity! I’ve spent many years logically walking myself through the necessity of embracing a natural lifestyle for the goal of health, not weight. Somedays I am successful, other days I am not. Generally, though, I have made good progress over the yeas. From an emotional perspective, I still vividly remember a time as a child (maybe 10, 12 years old?) when I was scolded by my mom because I had stretch marks on my thighs. I was not overweight at the time. I can only imagine that I got them from growing faster than my body could compensate. But that interaction started an insecurity about the imperfections of my body that emotionally plague me to this day. The stretch marks have mostly filled in and faded, but now I see other imperfections and feel that same sense of shame and powerlessness that I felt in that moment. It’s really hard to hear people say “be happy with your body” when a small, desperate part of myself still struggles with moving past feeling condemned and accused for I’m not sure what.
“It’s really hard to hear people say “be happy with your body” when a small, desperate part of myself still struggles with moving past feeling condemned and accused for I’m not sure what.” — you describe what so many women are feeling, and haven’t been able to put words to! I think my upcoming book is really going to support you and I’m curious to hear what you get out of future videos in this series.
Hi Lauren, The points you mention in this video are understandably difficult to explain/express. I think we must bear in mind that it’s not just the women who have been brainwashed by the culture but the men are also thinking in a skewed manner and goes along with what you mention as the true value of a woman should not be based on some artificial definition of “beauty”. Superficiality rules in the minds of both men and women and overlooking of the true value of someone based on their inner character and potential as a loving, communicating human. I want to encourage you to pursue your passion to bring women out of the trap of over-judging their external selves (either extreme of the “love – hate” my body spectrum). The ideal is for a healthy mind & body and that will result from a healthy lifestyle/nutrition. When there is “disease” there will be a change in one’s outward appearance that can signal us to find out what our body needs to support healing. This is not to mean drugs, lotions, creams, devices, chemicals, severe diets or other torture methods that women have used thru the ages in pursuit of “the ideal look”. There are many factors at work in our present day environment that can make it challenging to maintain a healthy body/mind. We can avoid buying what is potentially harmful by learning what is basic and necessary for health – choosing pure water, air and food (i.e avoiding chemicals/pollutants, GMO’s, toxins, unnecessary processing, etc.) and following the basic laws of physical and mental health (i.e. selection of & moderation in good things, exercise, sleep, faith/trust in our loving & forgiving Creator). Press forward and God bless you.
Amy E Reed
I am more likely to take better care of something that I love than something that I hate. It’s psychological for me. I used to put a lot of effort into “healthy” habits in order to “fix” myself to get others to love me. That took on the form of extreme exercise and binge dieting. Now I’ve realized that the only sustainable and true way of living healthy is for me to love me and that’s been a very slow process of going deep and finding the root cause of my health issues, which led me to this blog. It’s also led to inertia. As in, now I do nothing at all. Because when I do it just for me and not to impress anyone, I then have to go deep within for the motivation. I have major health issues, but still I persist in putting the wrong things in my body, but I am in denial about it. When I decide to love myself more, I’ll stop and realize that that I need to treat my body as it deserves to be treated. I’m getting there.