Body Empowerment - Destroying Negative Body Image Culture
For the month of July, my friend Kate & I have been using our platforms on Instagram to promote body empowerment by sharing other people’s stories on our Instagram feed. We found that July would be a good month to promote body empowerment because during these summer months women and men tend to be more self conscious of themselves due to wearing more exposed clothing and bathing suits.
From the start of the year through the spring months, it is common to see your friends and family obsess over their “summer body.” While you're driving on your way to work, you may come across a few commercials that advertise quick weight loss. Maybe there’s an aunt who comments on your weight gain at every family function. As a society, it has become regular for us to discuss and critique each other on our outward appearance and sometimes make judgements based on one another's bodies, skin, hair or clothing. In recent years there have been efforts from various different companies, organizations, and well known leaders to stop the negative attitudes many of us have towards ourselves and the people around us. Today in the midst of a season where more of our bodies are shown than ever before in the year, I ask you to put your guard, raise your self esteem & come to love you as you are; as well as learn to love others as they are.
According to mentalhealth.org/uk about ¼ of the population had a negative perception of their bodies, which causes a range of emotions such as shame, disgust, and sadness take a front seat in their lives. Professionals have correlated tons of outside influences to reasons why so many people struggle with their body image, below is a short list of a few directs ties professional’s have found:
- Prominent Relationships
- Over exposure to an “idealistic” body type
- Conversations about appearances from friends and family
I am no better than anyone, I have struggled with self confidence for as long as I can remember. In Kate and I’s conversation with Kaitlyn Owens, I discuss briefly about my battle with acne and wild, frizzy curls. For the last decade, up until about a year ago, I always envied the girls/ women with smooth, soft skin. I thought they were prettier than me, more intelligent, more popular; however it just turns out that they either had a great skin care routine from the age of 9 or genes that gifted them with clear skin. As I have gotten older I have not only come to accept and embrace what I was born with, I have also begun to take better care of myself which in turn helped the features I worry most about appear better. Most of us will always have fat, skin, or hair in places we just don’t want it, but if there is any advice I could give it would be to accept what you're given and then take care of it in a healthy manner.
I completely understand that there will be parts of us we do not like, however just because there might be something that is unflattering; it does not take away from the multiple positive attributes about ourselves and that is the bigger picture here. It is easy to tell people to love themselves, be grateful for what you have but in reality that is harder and way more unhealthy than saying, accept what the reality is and move forward with a plan to make it better. If you were stuck with a flat tire 9 times out of 10 you're not going to just sit there and tell yourself; “I should be grateful I have a car” or “I’m so happy the AC is still on.” No! You're going to accept that this has happened and then begin actively trying to find ways out of the situation you don’t want to be in. The same goes for your self love journey, it’s ok to exercise and eat better. It becomes alarming when there is over exercising and less eating. Fuel your body with what it needs and it will perform at its absolute best, which will in turn help propel you towards more self love.
As the summer moves along I ask you to remember this article when you're at the beach, on a date, or at a family event; your outward appearance does not take away, nor add to your value in this world. Whether you're tall, short, skinny, plus sized, black, white, asian, hispanic, young or old, we all have something to offer so please do not let anyone try to sing you a different song.
I am so happy Kate and I teamed up to do this project together, we do hope to make it an annual event so please let us know in the comments below if you enjoyed it as much as we have. Let us know if there is anything you’d like us to add. Kate does have a fitness page she has recently started so please be sure to give her a follow @dumbellswithduhamel, as she is a part of the I Am Woman community.
Thank you so much for reading! If you don’t already follow me on IG @iam.wwoman to watch the interviews we have had this month and comment on a few for a chance to win a giveaway! As for any other topics you’d like to read about or any woman in your life you’d like to see featured, be sure to send me an email to email@example.com. Thank you again for your continued support!