Body positivity: How to begin loving yourself

The body positivity movement has enjoyed a strong mass media presence in the past decade or so and gained more than just support from the community.

Singers, actors, and models have all pledged their commitment to creating a more positive attitude towards our bodies, no matter what shape, size or colour we are.

Why does the body positivity movement even exist in the first place? And why was it even necessary to tell people they should treasure the bodies they were born with?

Why the body positivity movement exists

In a generation where the TV and internet take up two-thirds of our waking hours, the media has taken the place of influencing how our brains process ideas and information.

The media shows us beautiful women with flawless skin and hour-glass figures, men with six-pack abs, and defines these images as basic social standards.

We then grow up with a specific but largely unachievable goal to become just like these images of so-called “perfect” men and women without realising each of us is born different and unique.

The body positivity movement is about showing people that all body types are beautiful and precious as they are, and that no one form is more valuable than the other.

The movement has created a positive impact on some industries as well, with hundreds of brands showing support for the idea of being unapologetic for who we are physically.

However, being body positive goes deeper than merely praising yourself with beautiful words. It is about truly accepting, loving, and being happy and satisfied with your body image.

Body positivity is also about putting a stop to judging either yourself or others harshly and more about spreading power, positive energy and the awareness of self-love.

Sounds simple, yet most in this generation struggle with this ideal every single day.

It is a long journey

People who suffer from a persistent negative body image often end up trapping themselves into unhealthy states like anorexia. Many develop other eating disorders as well, resort to self-harm, and suffer from insomnia without knowing how to break out of these conditions.

Learning to nurture a positive body image is the first step to embracing who you are as a person and finding the freedom to unashamedly be yourself.

It is about changing your mindset, reminding yourself of how worthy you are every day, every hour, every minute and every second, and really committing to the new you.

Tips to love yourself

  • Appreciate yourself and your body as it is the only physical vessel that carried you from the moment you were born.
  • Have a pep talk with yourself every day, right after you’re done washing your face. Tell yourself what you are going to achieve that specific day, what you have in hand, what super power you hide up your sleeve, and all the amazing good you can do for others because you are 100% yourself.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people as their positive energy is infectious and they can teach you how to love yourself and others unconditionally.
  • Immediately shut down and cut off any negative people around you. Know your worth and never let anyone give you less than you deserve.

This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.