Loving yourself like Kanye loves Kanye is not easy for anyone, even on our best days. Now it’s getting warmer and it’s time to show some skin and rock our new plus size swimwear we all need to listen to a positive voice and remember just who we are.
At Simply Be, we work with the best bloggers who are truly inspiring. Here’s our favorite quotes from some fabulous ladies who have shared their journey towards Body Positivity.
What’s in a name?
Ever heard the saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?’ Probably the stupidest saying ever, right? Of course, mean comments are hurtful, but Margot Meanie has found a way of taking some of these words and owning them:
“Fat is my body, fat is a community I have found. Fat is delicious (when I cook, but you know, in bed too), fat are these babes that I would have never met without unlearning harmful lessons society has pushed on me about my body. Fat has given me my voice, a platform and a passion.
I use Plus Size freely, because it is the most useful descriptor for us to commonly find clothing and fashion made for us, but Fat is political, it’s freeing and confrontational.
By taking back, redefining and embracing this word, it can NEVER be used to harm me.”
Margot also coined the hashtag #RebelliousSelfLove and sets challenges for readers to do every day to build body positivity. We just LOVE.
Dora X Lopez Mata at Adiosbarbie.com says:
“By reading Fat! So? by Marilyn Wann, I became familiar with fat activism which challenged me in so many ways. First, it helped me become comfortable with the word “fat”. After reading the book, I would make mantras and practice saying, “I am fat,” “I am a fat brown mujer,” and “I matter.” Before, I would
not use these words to identify myself because it was hard to not associate it with being bullied or shamed. Reflecting on this made me realize how I was abusing my fat body by following unhealthy diets.”
A professional opinion
Another big step for a lot of body positive (BoPo) activists was learning to accept that their bodies were made to look a certain way, and that trying to lose weight wasn’t good for their body or mind.
“You have to learn to let the focus on weight recede, and instead cultivate weight neutrality. You have to work with your body, make it a partner – and there is joy in this. You have to learn to be a good parent to yourself, to care about what you need and desire – and there is joy in this. You have to strengthen your ‘emotional immune system’ to withstand the culture’s nasty messages about femaleness and fatness and failure – and work to change the culture – and there is joy even in this.”
Dr Debby Burgard: Fitness instructor & psychologist at bodypositive.com.
Clémentine Desseaux is a plus size model. When people tried to use her looks as a weapon against her she turned it round and now uses her looks to inspire others.
“As I grew older, bolder and stronger, I realized that others and their thoughts about me do not define me. I realized that my DNA and what I look like does not define me. I took back my power and decided that the only voice and opinion I would ever consider when it comes to my body, is mine.
I took my power back by owning my body, my imperfections, my differences and blasting it into the World for everyone to see. I decided that my body would become my main strength and that I will use it to change the World. It wasn’t easy taking action and saying ‘I am a model’ felt strange for the longest part, when I grew up being everything but a model, everything but ‘the standard’. It took a moment before I could even take myself seriously saying it.”
Photo credit, Les Mijotés @lesmijotes
Marcy from Fearlessly Just Me reminds us:
“I discovered the plus size community and that taught me that things were not that black and
white. I immersed myself in the activist side of things, reading books and learning to love myself in the body I was in. That in turn opened my eyes to the body image issues that ALL people face.
I learned that thin people struggle too. They are bullied too.
That inspired me to stop being prejudiced and to stop showing support only to women who look like me.”
RHN, Body Love Coach, Kimberley Record said:
“A negative body image is just a symptom of being disconnected from WHO you really are—and from the beautiful, unique internal qualities and value you have to offer. When you learn to stop looking around you to identify the (usually unrealistic) standards and success markers for measuring your self-worth, and you begin the self-discovery process of highlighting and building on your inside strengths, gifts, passions and beauty, you’ll find it much easier to give yourself permission to love and accept your outside—pimples, dimples and all!”
Founder of Fit Mummy Project App, Kimmy Smith said:
“I believe that having a positive body image is so important, it affects our confidence and our ability to be true to ourselves. As a personal trainer specializing in postnatal fitness and a Mum of two (with another due very soon), I encourage women to shift their focus from trying to ‘bounce-back” which is focused on the past, to focussing on creating a strong and healthy body after baby. I struggled for a long time to accept the changes that had happened to my body after giving birth.
Now I try to focus on just how strong my body is and embrace those changes as representing the journey my body has been through to create life!”
Photo credit @ccdoubleyou
How to become body positive
So that’s WHY we need to build up the Bo Po movement. But HOW can we do it?
Jes Baker from Themilitantbaker.com keeps it simple for swimwear season:
“How To Get a Sexy Swimsuit Body In Less Than 5 Minutes:
0:01: retrieve preferred swimsuit
0:02: put on said swimsuit
0:03: look in mirror
0:04: exclaim “HOT DAMN I am one sexy bitch!”
Optional: strut like you just don’t care.”
Sounds good to us!
Stephanie Yeboah from Nerd About Town has some great tips on accepting your body.
“Get naked with yourself (or at least get some gorgeous underwear). Start at the top and work your way down, feeling your entire body as you go. Take the time to stop and examine parts you feel unfamiliar with.
Learn your body. Stretch marks, bumps, hair, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles. You don’t become friends with someone just by looking at them. You make an effort to get to know them, and over time, they become a source of familiarity and comfort. Your body has the potential to be your BFF.
My body is not the enemy. When I allow myself to check in to this truth, it creates space for me to have a real compassion for my body. Even when I’m not feeling fantastic, I can come back to knowing that my body is working with me, not against me. It’s my best ally in living my fullest in celebration of radical self-love.”
Chastity at Garner Style suggests thinking outside of the body…
“Stake your confidence in your abilities rather than genetics. One of the biggest contributing factors to my confidence is my foundation. When I was child, I never cared to be beautiful. Beauty seemed unearned and just something you happen by on genetics or what someone else thought of you. I wanted to be smart, athletic, accomplished, and independent…and I was/am. I still go to batting cages and hit 80mph pitches just to make sure I can still do it, get a high off of running a successful business (my first and only business), and I ambitiously collect achievements. Even though you can say that I’m in the business of beauty, my confidence is not my face, but the ability to put together an outfit and help other people do the same. I say all of that to say be proud of what you can do and what you do for others. External beauty will fade, but your accomplishments and abilities won’t. You earned them.”
Amber at AmberJanae.com lives by these actions:
Every day I remind myself of my beauty, my glow and perfect imperfections. There is nothing more reassuring than me reminding myself of my beauty, not waiting for the world to affirm it. I often write down the things I love about myself most and read them aloud when the list is complete.
Treating My Body Like I Treat My Lover
We love our partners. We cherish them while showering them with an abundance of love. If I treat my body as I treat my lover than all day long, it’s receiving the unconditional love it requires. Treating my body like my lover means I listen to it, handle it well, nourish and nurture it.
Endless Self-Care Treatments
I am the queen of treating myself to the nail or day spa. I believe investing my money in self-care treatments that help to boost my confidence. Every two weeks I get a manicure, pedicure and take healing baths. I frequent the brow bar when needed. I make sure my hair is done. I invest in make for the days I want to be glammed up.”
Jennifer Williamson of AimHappy.com said:
“Your hands are for helping and creating, your arms for embracing. Your feet are for feeling the earth beneath you, your legs for visiting new places. Your heart is for giving and receiving love and life. Your head is for thinking of new ways to live. Life energy breathes through every cell of your body, each one rooting for you and working together to give you a trillion reasons to be here. This is no accident. Your body is a precious expression of an otherwise invisible miracle. Enjoy yourself—you are here.”
Deanna Schober from Fittobepregnant.com said:
“Our bodies do not determine our value, but they do add value to our lives. It is your vessel for experiencing the physical aspect of your life, so take excellent care of it.
With your body, you can dance, run, climb, lift, flip, soar. You can give life, you can feed, you can offer comfort, you can calm, all with your body.
There is pure joy and empowerment in believing your body is capable of something and watching it achieve that potential.”
Fashionista Thamarr said:
“You’re good enough as you are, right now to do anything you want. Every human body has the right to live and exist without shame. I don’t need justify my reasons for being happy and loving myself in the body that I have — I’m alive and that is my right.”
Stephanie from Stephanie Konter Counseling, LLC who helps young adults and teens with body image concerns said:”Strength is not being able to resist food and suppress hunger. Strength is standing up to a culture that tells you who you “should” be.”
“Your body is more than just the size of your breast, butt, and abs, its a container for you the whole you, you as a person, that loves, creates, supports and laughs to name a few. Whenever I feel like my body is failing or failing me, I know think of all the great things it has done and continues to do for me. It helps me be the person I am inside the skin and bones, the real essence of me. If I can honor who I am and what I do, I can honor my body in return.”
Summer Innanen, Body Image Coach and Author of Body Image Remix said:
“Strength is not being able to resist food and suppress hunger. Strength is standing up to a culture that tells you who you “should” be.”
“The mark we leave on this world is not in the way we look; it’s in the impact that we have on others.”
Share your story
A lot of these ladies have all found that speaking up and sharing their experience helps them stay in a body positive head space.
Isha from An Autumns Grace explains how important it is to share our journeys and keep each other inspired!
“Growing up, and even now, there was no-one around that looked like me, but it was through finding and reading blogs where I discovered that there was an alternative.
It took a long time and a lot of frustration to finally get to this place, a place of self acceptance. Feeling confident in ones own skin is the most appealing thing anyone can ever have and blogging has really helped me to believe that message.”
Curvy Model, Blogger, Influencer, Writer, and Activist Ruby Roxx said:
“Does wearing a size 18 dress instead of a size 8 make me a terrible person? No! Does it make me any less beautiful? HELL no! And it doesn’t make me unhealthy either! And neither does my weight, or my BMI or my calorie intake for the day! Those numbers do NOT rule my body, or my brain anymore, and they certainly cannot tell me or anyone else that I am not worthy of self love or respect.”
Photo by Lanaya Flavelle Photography
Jessica Denham said:
”When I was a kid, girls were excluded from athletics. It‘s exciting for me to have the physical ability and freedom to go on backpacking expeditions, run a marathon, do obstacle courses and mud runs, and study boxing and mixed martial arts. When I was obese and struggling with chronic pain and fatigue, I couldn‘t have imagined where I would be in my forties. I may be sweaty and covered in mud, but I‘ll never stop feeling thrilled with that new-found strength and power.”