Admittedly there is no such thing as an easy guide to body positivity, however, I do believe there are some tricks and tips that can help you on your journey. Here are a few of my favourites;
1. Only wear clothes that you love and that fit in a way that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. Seek out stores that sell items you want to wear, in your size and your style. Don’t accept clothing that makes you feel negative about yourself in any way.
2. Refuse to engage with any media that promotes an unhealthy body image, for me this means I do not read any mainstream fashion magazines or watch TV shows like the Biggest Loser. Recognize how companies profit off our self-hatred.
3. Seek out body positivity role models. Instagram and Tumblr have very supportive communities, you can find them by searching the hashtags #effyourbeautystandards, #pizzasisters4lyfe and #selfiesforselflove.
4. Compliment yourself on a regular basis in order to counteract the negative thoughts you have been fed by our culture. You can do this by standing in front of the mirror or by taking a selfie. You don’t have to share, it is all about self-love.
5. Appreciate all that your body can do, by focusing on whatever abilities you have, this will be different for everyone. If you take selfies and document your self-praise, you can reflect back anytime you are feeling less than body positive.
6. On days when you are struggling with your body image, focus on body acceptance instead and refuse to believe your own negative self-talk. This is a great time to reflect on your better days if you have been journalling your body positive thoughts and feelings with your selfies.
7. Get rid of your scale and your measuring tapes. For many people, they create a focus on numbers instead of on happiness, health and living your life. Instead, listen to your body, get in touch with what it needs and when it feels best.
8. Exercise only when it feels right for you and your body. If you absolutely hate it, don’t do it. Dedicate that time to your true life passions, whether that is art, music, books, animals, activism or anything else. Enjoy every second of your life.