The Importance of Body Positivity
I am so encouraged by the trends that I am seeing emerge regarding body positivity.
A lot of us probably grew up in an environment where body weight and image were made to be very important.
How we talk about ourselves in front of our children matters!
I didn’t truly come to love my own body until after having my first child. I was so utterly amazed and impressed with what my body had accomplished that I finally stopped seeing or caring about the dimples, loose skin, and stretch marks.
Through this newfound love and acceptance, I became more aware of social media accounts celebrating body positivity, brand utilizing all-sized bodies in their campaigns, and magazines featuring women other than stick figures on the covers.
Those are all huge societal shifts that are going to tell our children different stories than the ones that we grew up with. However, that’s only one part of the equation; the other part is how we adults use language to describe our own bodies (and others).
We want our kids to think that their bodies are amazing, wonderful things that require care and healthy foods to be their best.
So, we must actively work against using language that is so ingrained in us. “I feel fat.” “Ugh, I hate my thighs.” And, “I can’t eat that.”
Our bodies are spectacular miracles. It’s time that we start using language to highlight their glory.
My husband and I practice this all the time, and it’s still something that doesn’t just come naturally.
We both exercise regularly, and we have worked hard to avoid talking about exercising to “lose weight” — instead, that we exercise to “be healthy and strong.”
We are trying to model moderation rather than restrictions in terms of the foods that we eat as a family. There are no “off-limit” foods, as completely withholding such items will likely lead to our children seeking out those foods when they are outside of our care.
Instead, we practice eating healthy foods before having a treat. And rather than discussing what we cut out of our diets, we talk about the foods that make up our diets.
We try to celebrate our bodies rather than tearing them down.
Our children learn their language through imitating the language that they hear. And how we talk about things becomes the way that we think about things. We want our kids to think that their bodies are amazing, wonderful things that require care and healthy foods to be their best.
How else will they learn to embrace body positivity unless we model it regarding our own bodies?